Friday, March 18, 2011

Europe - The Worst Of Both TV Worlds

As it's announced from Germany that a Hulu/Kangaroo-like video portal to be launched by ProSieben and RTL has come off the rails after the regulator intervened, it's worth asking what kind of mess is the European TV industry in ?

On one hand the European Court of Justice rules that Europe is one single content market in the case of a pub landlady in the UK showing Greek coverage of UK football, on the other national monopolies like Kangaroo and this German initiative are bounced into touch on a 'local' level.

The net result is that the worst of both world is appearing - no European media company can establish the critical mass to take on the US content giants, and those companies investing in rights are put at a disadvantage.

Meanwhile companies like Shed, Shine, and possible All3Media are being hoovered up from across the water, and no doubt Hulu will soon be landing on these shores (albeit after a couple of failed forays).

The US has one great advantage in business: a homogeneous market of 350m people (I include Canada). In Europe we remain, despite the EU's best efforts, fractious. So, it's time to decide if we are one market or not, and regulate accordingly