Terminal Decline

A section in a report produced by a Narrowstep team at the Edinburgh Television Festival was headed 'In Denial'.

I need not explain what this means, and there is some truth in their scepticism - there are not huge fortunes to be made in internet TV at the moment. But I would bet my tickets to Wales' World Cup Rugby games that the very same people branded 'in denial' now will be speaking on podiums about how great TV 2.0 is in two years' time.

People - and organisations - are pretty good at re-inventing themselves.

But the results this week from RTL's Five channel in the UK show more clearly than ever that traditional TV is in near terminal decline. Five is a funny beast - a cross between the traditional four channel TV hegenomy and the more recent world of cable fragmentation. They recently launched two niche cable channels and have a download service operating online (which, from experience, I can predict is not doing well at all), but their parent company has had to make a substantial write down on their investment in the company.

At the same time, young, small, upstarts like Cycling TV are proving their value in the marketplace (they were recently sold for almost $5m).

The world of TV2.0 needs - and demands - more, stronger, dominant brands.