ITV chief says Internet giants are 'parasites'

Michael Grade, chairman of beleaguered British broadcaster ITV, has lashed out at Internet giant Google and video-sharing website YouTube, calling them parasites.

Speaking at the Intl. Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, Grade defended ITV’s content strategy, adding, “Google and YouTube are just parasites. The day they start spending £1 billion ($1.8 billion) a year on content is the day I’ll start worrying.”

Content creation, rather than technological advances, remained the key to success, Grade told industryites in a pre-recorded interview played on Friday at “The Future for Broadcasting” keynote session.

And despite the growing threat from new platforms, broadcast TV remained the best “shop window” for top-quality content.

Grade added that ITV was investing more in HD programming, but that mobile TV was less of a priority.

On Sunday DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was interviewed live from L.A. in the first transatlantic telecast in stereoscopic high-definition 3-D.

Katzenberg, who was interviewed by Elizabeth Daley, professor and dean of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, was the recipient of the IBC2008 Intl. Honor for Excellence.

Other winners included Walt Disney, which picked up the top award in the IBC Innovation Awards, for “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour.”

The annual event closes Tuesday.

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