Recent articles on this blog featured the problems broadcasting services have to face in the days of the internet. Just take a look at my bookmarks on the right to notice that the death of Project Kangaroo has been the opener to Project Canvas.

Today’s informitv newsletter is concluded by a comment by Dr William Cooper, CEO informitv, addressing current issues. It’s a brilliant one. Unfortunately, I can’t find it anywhere on their site (“resource not found”). So here it is, straight from the newsletter…

Channel changes

By Dr William Cooper, Chief Executive, informitv on March 9th, 2009.

For readers around the world who follow developments in British broadcasting, the challenges faced by some channels are simply symptomatic of changes in the television industry. The commercial channels are all under increasing pressure as a result of the economic environment in which they operate, but this may be overstated. The structural problem is that their traditional business model is broken. British broadcasters have built expansive portfolios of channels but been slow to diversify into other forms of digital distribution and where they have it has been ineffective. One way or another, we can expect some dramatic changes in the television landscape. Shares in ITV, the main commercial broadcaster, opened this week at an all-time low. Channel Four has been pleading poverty, but perhaps protests too much, while Five faces greater problems. Virgin Media is putting its channels up for sale, although the timing seems unfortunate. Various improbable partnerships have been proposed, but we can anticipate more surprising mergers and acquisitions. The government, communications regulator and competition authorities may be faced with some difficult decisions and may not have the opportunity to indulge in lengthy debates and consultations. For a regulatory regime that has concentrated on market economics, it is ironic that commercial realities will tend to take precedence.