Comment: It may be too late for Murdoch's rivals
"The customer's demand is for more and more for less and less. The losers can only be shareholders"
Friday 18 August 1995
The dramatic transformation of BSkyB from bombed-out basket case to Britain's commercially best-placed TV company continues to astonish. Rupert Murdoch has sounded the battle-cry and the rest of the commercial television sector had better sit up and take notice. Confirming that it is the most profitable TV broadcaster in the country, Mr Murdoch's 40 per cent-owned BSkyB yesterday unveiled record figures and vowed to expand aggressively into digital television. The ITV companies will have to move fast to keep up.
There are three things that must be done. First, work together on a common standard for digital television, and make sure it provides access to all digital programming, whether satellite or terrestrial. Second, buy or make popular programming, and entice viewers into subscribing for pay services by offering TV (or other services like home banking and home shopping) worth paying for. Third, rely on existing libraries of programming as a mainstay of digital programming - benefit, that is, from the "money for old rope" adage.
Some companies have managed to do one or two of these things already. Pearson has spent heavily to develop a programming library. The ITV companies have spent millions on original production. But only Mr Murdoch has done all three: he has a set-top box for his analogue services, great film and sports programming that 4.2 million British households are paying as much as pounds 23 a month to receive, and a wealth of programming from his Hollywood Fox operations. It may already be too late for traditional independent television.
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall could push even more bargain-hunters online for Christmas sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...