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IBC takes industry pulse

Broadcasting is ever-changing; it is one of the delights of the business but also the over-riding challenge. Staying abreast – and ahead – of change is what the IBC Conference is all about. IBC2015 is no exception, with Daily expert panels and compelling Keynotes designed to inform delegates, and to prepare for the years ahead.

This year five key themes will be evident, in short: The Pulse of the Industry, Reinventing Broadcasting, the Digital Disruptors, The Future, and It’s a Wrap which summarises
IBC’s findings.

Thursday’s opener (Forum 09:00-10:30) reflects IBC’s aim, with a Ray Snoddy-moderated panel (‘The Future is Now: Broadcasting in an age of challenge’) and four acknowledged experts to take the pulse of the media business.Fran Unsworth (director, BBC World Service Group) will outline how the BBC is embracing technology to cope with squeezed budgets and tough competition from
well-funded rivals.

OSN’s CEO David Butorac runs some 150 pay-TV channels in perhaps the most competitive broadcasting environment on the planet. Philip Luff runs Scripps Networks International in the UK/EMEA and will address how expansion is high on Scripps’ agenda. Thomas Riedl, head of Global Android TV Partnerships at Google is superbly qualified to take the industry’s pulse.

Thursday afternoon (Forum 17:15-18:15) also sees IBC’s top-flight Leaders’ Summit take centre stage. Moderated by Andrew Neil, the panel will address how well TV is tackling the internet era.
These IBC opening debates are typical of those that follow, in that IBC’s Themes are examined in detail.

On Friday morning (Forum 10:00-11:00) it looks at Global Ambitions when JB Perrette of Discovery Networks International explains the broadcaster’s philosophy – and how it is evolving.

Saturday’s Forum Keynote (10:00-11:00) is another indicator – and one of IBC’s 2015 Themes – of Disruption in the business, in the form of ‘OTT Comes of Age’. It is headlined by Charlie Ergen-backed Dish TV and Sling TV on pioneering a ‘next-generation’ TV service with Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch keynoting.Up for discussion is the huge shift in some consumers from conventional linear TV to OTT-supplied viewing and which has placed Netflix as the US’ third broadcaster when measured in hours viewed.

Saturday (Forum 13:30-15:00) sees Gerry O’Sullivan (former interim CEO of Digicel Group) host a compelling session, produced by journalist Kate Bulkley, where some heavyweight CTOs take a look at the next 12 months for the industry. The BBC’s Matthew Postgateand Discovery’s John Honeycutt measure and predict the likely changes, and how to balance ambitions with Capex.

Sunday’s Forum (10:00-11:00) has its hottest of hot topics in the form of BT TV and BT Sport’s managing director, Delia Bushell and how BT has wholly shaken up the UK broadcasting model, winning subscribers from Sky and new channels to rival Sky. No doubt the vexed topic of Ultra HD will also be mentioned!