In today’s International Newswire: European cable revenue continues to rise; the topper of China’s Youku and Alibaba to speak at MipTV; “Sandro De America” makes bullish bow; and Harry Potter studio tour passes magic milestone.
Pay TV, but even more broadband, are driving continued and steady, if not spectacular, growth in Europe’s cable industry, according to IHS statistics (see here) released by industry trade association Cable Europe at Dublin’s annual Cable Congress.
That’s the good news. But with the ghost of cord cutting and U.S. sectorial decline somewhere in the distance, the Congress brought in a really big gun, Michael Powell, president-CEO of NCTA, the U.S. cable industry trade body, to fire off a fusillade against the U.S. FAANG techno giants. In a keynote, Powell called for a “reinvigoration and evolution of anti-trust and competition policy as well as its fair application.”
Until Europe’s broadband and pay-TV markets mature, however, cable can at least hope for the consistent growth it has seen for a decade. According to IHS Markit data, total cable revenue in Europe increased 2.4% in 2017 to €23.43 billion ($29.1 billion). That represents 48% revenue growth in the decade since 2007, with internet — 24.8% of income in 2007 — representing 34.4% in 2017.
Last year, broadband grew 5%, thanks to the success of Docsis 3.0, compared with TV’s 2.1%, according to IHS Markit statistics. Digital TV revenue uptick was powered by an 8% hike in digital TV subscriber revenue and, significantly, an 18.5% spike in VOD income. TV still remains the single biggest source of cable revenue, worth €10.75 billion ($13.3 billion) last year. Just how consumers will receive it and what they will watch in the future is, of course, one €23.43 billion question.
YOUKU, ALIBABA PREZ TO SPEAK AT MIPTV
Yang Weidong, president of China’s Youku, Alibaba Media & Entertainment Group, will deliver one of the keynotes at MipTV, the television conference that runs April 9-12 in Cannes, France.
According to a statement, he will “outline the necessity of continuing to provide a bridge between the internet and broadcast channels, and the need to create qualitative, brand-defining content.”
He will also share his company’s international partnership strategy aimed at strengthening Youku’s position as a leading “multi-screen entertainment and media platform” in China.
Asian TV drama will be highlighted at MipTV, with a showcase introducing the new producers to watch from the region. There will also be a panel looking at the new breed of local dramas coming from Asian OTT platforms, alongside the established regional networks that have raised the bar in terms of local scripted series. Speakers include executives from HOOQ, HBO ASIA, VIKI, and YOUKU.
‘SANDRO DE AMERICA’ MAKES BULLISH BOW ON ARGENTINA’S TELEFE
Co-produced by Telefilms’ The Magic Eye and Viacom’s Telefé, bioseries “Sandro de America,” about the so-called “Argentine Elvis,” bowed March 5 on Telefe to an upbeat reception. Results were “more than positive,” reported TodoTVNews, citing influential Argentine newspaper Clarin, which praised its “large artistic and technical quality,” and “a passionate chronicle of a singular life.” The first episode hit an average 15.4% for Telefe, a high-level rating these days for the free-to-air broadcast network. “Sandro” won its time slot and was the most-watched show on Monday. The results count.
A further incursion into TV for director Israel Adrián Caetano after “El Marginal,” the show reps one of Telefe’s biggest scripted plays of the year, as, under Viacom’s aegis, it seeks to consolidate its status as one of Latin America’s prime content creators. Sold by Telefilms and Telefe, “Sandro de America” is also, via The Magic Eye, the first series out of the gate for Telefilms, Latin America’s top movie distributor, now diversifying into TV.
HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR WELCOMES 10 MILLIONTH VISITOR
Wizarding World visitor attraction “The Making of Harry Potter” studio tour, situated North-West of London, has welcomed its 10 millionth visitor. The site, which opened in 2012, is adjacent to Leavesden Studios, where all eight Harry Potter films were shot. Among the areas on Warner Bros.’ tour, which features original sets, costumes and props, as well as demonstrating how the visual, special and creature effects seen in the movies were created, are Hogwarts’ Great Hall, Diagon Alley, Platform 9 ¾ and the Forbidden Forest.