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Sweeney points to digital opportunities

Disney topper presents upbeat view of future

Digital technology, far from disrupting TV, is unleashing the power of the medium in new ways, Disney topper Anne Sweeney told delegates at Mipcom on Wednesday.

It is giving audiences fresh opportunities to watch and providing the biz with new models, according to Sweeney, the first woman to be named Mipcom personality of the year.

In a keynote address, the upbeat execs told delegates at the sales shindig that digital platforms and production methods had transformed TV for the better. She said, “We’re giving people more quality and options than ever before. And they’re responding — tuning in, logging on, downloading, streaming, buying, renting — devouring our content any way they can get it.”

Sweeney suggested the smallscreen was destined to remain the world’s most powerful medium, its power enhanced by the ability to watch anywhere, at any time, via different platforms.

“Think about how you used technology on the flight to this conference,” Sweeney urged. “How many different ways you customized each experience to suit your needs and preferences. I used the time to catch up on the production of some of our new shows. I loaded exactly what I needed, in the way that I wanted to see it.”

However, she reminded her audience that the majority of folk still watch TV conventionally, with viewers in many markets spending more than four hours a day in front of the boob tube.

But others will want to watch TV via a variety of devices, and it’s this “tech-savvy, global, multigenerational audience” driving the future of the TV biz.

She added, “Digital technology has unleashed our power to provide a great personal entertainment experience for every single viewer in the world — all 3.7 billion of them.

“And every new opportunity we create for viewers creates new revenue streams for our businesses and for our partners around the world.”

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