Magazine article Marketing

'Teletubbies' Are Waking Up to the Reality of 90s' TV

Magazine article Marketing

'Teletubbies' Are Waking Up to the Reality of 90s' TV

Article excerpt

A remarkable thing happened at the Royal Television Society's biennial beano at Cambridge last weekend. Marketing got a look in - and right up at the front, too. There was of course the usual inexorable fixed points. The latest technology was wheeled out to scare the delegates half to death and prove absolutely conclusively that television as we know it is already finished.

This time it was the man from Microsoft with his new Web TV $300 machine who played the role of bogey-man. You could see the delegates plotting mental graphs - the collapse of television against their likely retirement dates. ITV did its usual whinge about not having any money. It was slightly more heartfelt this year because Peter Rogers of the ITC was in the audience, and ITV was pitching to recoup some of the [pounds]400m a year it pays to the government on the relicensing roundabout. The appearance of Melvyn Bragg to argue that with [pounds]1.7bn ITV cannot be expected to afford a decent arts programme and that subsidies from the BBC are urgently needed, over-egged the pudding to a ludicrous degree.

What delegates did get was a comprehensive view of how their market had changed from Martin Hayward of BBH Futures. Everyone knows Britain has changed and that it makes more sense these days to invest in the future of Dutch flower growers than in ITV companies. But here was a powerful bringing together of why and how the audience rarely sits down as one to watch any programme put on offer. …

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