×

Peter Chernin: New Businesses Must Be Created to Keep the Industry Vibrant

This column is part of Variety’s Broken Hollywood feature. For more execs and their opinions on the state of Hollywood, click here.

The thing that concerns me most, and is something I see partly as a threat and partly as an opportunity, is the transition of the television business.

From a threat perspective, I’m concerned about the traditional television content business as a producer of such content. You’re seeing all sorts of threatening things — soft advertising on the cable networks and broadcast networks, declining ratings. The ratings, particularly on cable, have been really rough this fall.

On the other hand, I think there are real opportunities in the over-the-top space. If there is a consumer push for television delivered over the Internet without a set bundle (of channels), there’s nothing any of us can do to stop that. But you also need to figure out how to play in those new areas.

Your job is not to protect an existing business, and in fact you can’t protect an existing business. Your real job is to grow new businesses faster than the old ones can possibly decay.

The bundle is the greatest thing that ever happened to the traditional media business. Everyone should try to hold onto it as long as they can. I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. It may get compromised a little bit, and you may see it fray around the edges. By definition, almost anything is going to be harder, and almost anything is going to take more effort, because right now if you’re a big content company, you’re getting paid by every home in America regardless of whether or not people are watching you.

It’s going to take much more ingenuity and scrambling and being bold and taking chances. It’s going to be a hard transition. Most transitions are hard. That’s what they’re supposed to be, and I think that the bold and creative get rewarded.

More Biz

  • Sammy Shore Dead: Comedy Store Co-Founder

    Sammy Shore, Co-Founder of The Comedy Store, Dies at 92

    Sammy Shore, the well-known stand-up comedian who co-founded The Comedy Store in Hollywood, died in Las Vegas, Nev. from natural causes. He was 92. Shore founded The Comedy Store with writing partner Rudy Deluca on April 7, 1972. His ex-wife, Mitzi Shore, took ownership of the club in the divorce settlement, and the venue went [...]

  • Outlander Season 4 Finale

    What CBS' Pursuit of Starz Means for CBS, Lionsgate

    CBS’ effort to buy pay TV service Starz from Lionsgate seems on the surface to be a head scratcher. CBS has told Wall Street for years that it has prospered because it brings only two must-have services to the table in negotiations with MVPDs, allowing the Eye to drive a hard bargain. Why would CBS [...]

  • Dana Brunetti

    Dana Brunetti Sues to Block Season 2 of 'Manhunt'

    Producer Dana Brunetti filed suit on Friday seeking to block the second season of the anthology series “Manhunt,” which is set to dramatize the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Brunetti sued Lionsgate, the production company, as well as Discovery Communications and Charter Communications. Brunetti, the producer of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and many other [...]

  • PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers

    PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers Data From Platform

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that is headed into administration (the British equivalent of bankruptcy), today posted a note to artists and fans, offering the ability for artists to download their data from the platform. A source tells Variety that more information will be coming once an administrator is named — when that happens, at some [...]

  • Spanish actress and member of the

    AIG and AS Talents Announce Agency Tie-Up (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Unger’s talent, management and branding venture, Artist International Group, has partnered with AS Talents in France, which represents leading European performers Jean Reno, Christian Clavier, Elza Zylberstein and Rossy de Palma. Paris-based AS Talents is headed by Alexandra Schamis. The move, announced Friday on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, is the latest [...]

  • I.M. Pei dead

    I.M. Pei, Architect of CAA Building and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Dies at 102

    I.M. Pei, the architect behind the CAA building in Beverly Hills and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died on Thursday. He was 102. One of the most famous architects of his time, Pei designed numerous famous buildings around the world before retiring in 1990. Born in China, he moved to the United States [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content