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“Great, big product will succeed,” says AMC boss

Reports of cable’s death have been greatly exaggerated, but the theoretical challenges that have been facing pay-TV operators for decades are starting to take hold, according to AMC boss
Bruce Tuchman.

The president of the channel responsible for global TV hits Mad Men and The Walking Dead shared his concerns with chair and broadcaster Andrew Neil during the Keynote, ‘The Big Question: Is TV facing up to the Internet Era?’

“Consumers can now pay under $10 a month for Netflix and binge watch their favourite TV shows, or $20 a month for a pay-TV channel where they might be watching the same thing.You can buy basic channels from Sling TV and supplement them with Netflix and HBO On Demand and you have replicated an expensive bundle at a smaller price.”

Tuchman – also president of Sundance Global – argued that more quality TV in this environment “was the only solution.

“People will pay for quality but not for bundling or packaging – no one wants to watch a bunch of mediocre programming but great, big product will succeed.”

Yahoo’s head of partnerships Tom Toumazis meanwhile saw the “collision course” between traditional media and 21st century digital tech as an opportunity for all players to “build on something better.”

Toumazis indicated that The X-Factor creator Simon Cowell will launch his new format,
TheUltimateDJ, exclusively on Yahoo in early 2016.

“It will be a live, ad-funded format and we will use Tumblr (which Yahoo owns) for the voting by viewers,” says Toumazis. “We are connecting a TV format with digital and social interaction.”

Next month Yahoo is also set to become the exclusive global broadcaster of an NFL American football game in London, between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For the first time, this will be OTT, live, free, global, ad-supported, and not available on TV outside of local TV markets in the US and the UK.

It’s a move that Toumazis hopes will further Yahoo’s mission to become a top destination for premium content and live events, and for the NFL to tap into a global audience.