Kate Bulkley, Media Analyst.

Conference Analysis: Live is the future

By Kate Bulkley

IBC2008 Daily

15 September 2008

Wayne Garvie:

Wayne Garvie: "Entertainment has been reinvented in the last five years""

The value of skilled live TV producers is much higher now than five to 10 years ago, said Wayne Garvie, managing director of content and production at BBC Worldwide. And he believes their value "will increase further over the next 10 years".

Speaking at the 'Are We Live?' Session yesterday, Garvie said that live programmes are the only ones that "consistently cut through". And entertainment shows in particular - led by shows like X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing - are becoming "more and more valuable in the fragmenting digital age" because they are helping reverse the decline in ratings for mainstream TV.

"Entertainment has largely been reinvented in the last five years around live events." He said that taking a cue from the appeal of live sports, the BBC had designed Strictly Come Dancing "to look like a live sports event because sports events have a stickiness that you can't walk away from".

In 1997 187 programmes on British TV attracted audiences of more than 15 million, said Garvie. But by 2000, the number of programmes achieving that size audience had dropped to 82 and in 2006, only three programmes achieved more than 15 million viewers. "All three of these shows were live," said Garvie.

Charles Jablonski, executive in residence for Ritchie Capital and ex-NBC, said that there is "a lot of life in the old dog called live TV. Only a very small part of the $1 billion in advertising brought in by NBC for its Olympics coverage was for non-live coverage." Robert Amlung, head of digital strategy for ZDF, said that broadcasters need to redefine themselves to live in two worlds, one of live TV and another to create VoD services. "We are trying to figure out how to bring these two worlds together," he said.

Articles Menu