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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jeff Zucker on the Future of Broadcast

All Things Digital (a wonderfully informative website, if you don't know it) recently held a symposium on the future of video for broadcast and the internet. Two interviews stuck out, one with Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal and the other with John Malone (which I'll take up in the next blog). As you would expect, much of the focus was on money, but then again, that's what makes the televised world go around, right? So from Zucker's point of view, what works for television these days is the big event or the big drama or comedy series. But the programming "middle" is a muddle. Too much competition from other places, including the web. And, as far as the future goes, the the big issue is revenue. Zucker was quoted some time ago as saying that the media companies are replacing analog dollars with digital pennies. (Meaning the web advertising revenue streams are a trickle compared to what used to pour into the broadcast pond. Now, he thinks with Hulu and the like, they're swimming in digital dimes and he's looking forward to the day of digital quarters. So you can see the problem. And where will all the money come for programming? There's also a longer interview on the All Things Digital Website.

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