Monday, January 19, 2009

Zeiler-now is the time to make big decisons

There has been much debate about the talks of merger between Channel 4 and Channel 5.

This morning's FT carries an interview with Gerhard Zeiler who is CE of RTL stake holders in Channel 5 which is well worth a read.

According to Zeiler

It is not just a question of television – it is also about how the strengths and characteristics of traditional television can be translated into the new digital world of online and on-demand.
adding that tinkering around with the system is not the way forward

Now is the time to think big. The government has a matchless opportunity to create an entity able to deliver new public service content in new ways

And that big thinking is to merge 4 and 5

Channel 4 and Five share many characteristics. Both are funded by advertising, both commission programmes from outside producers rather than making them in-house and both are reliant on a mix of home-grown and acquired programming. A merger that brings together two such complementary broadcasters would create a much stronger operator

I realise that many will hold their hands up in horror at the merger and will forecast a diluting of Channel 4 but I have maintained before on this blog that in these turbulent times unpopular business decisions will hacve to be made to protect media brands.This is one of those instances

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