Soho Hotel
March 19th, 2018
14:00 – 18:00

Pay TV in the era of hyper-competition

The full impact of IP-transformation is finally being felt as SVOD giants try to acquire or commission the best content, social media firms become video content curators, sports owners assert more control over production and digital distribution, and Pay TV providers use skinny bundle linear/VOD offers to expand their market reach, including internationally. The premium content industry has reached an inflection point and new behaviours and distribution models could now seriously disrupt the established order.

At TV Pathfinders 2018 we explore the future of content, distribution and aggregation – and how Pay TV operators can adjust to new realities and thrive in the era of hyper-competition. We are looking for the pricing and packaging innovations, content partnerships and user experiences that will broaden the appeal of TV and help sell subscriptions in homes that have never previously paid monthly for content. Thought-leaders will consider the user interface and backoffice innovations that will maximise the enjoyment and value of premium TV.

Join industry thought-leaders for a timely look at how Pay TV needs to evolve over the next three years. This invitation-only event follows the Chatham House rule, encouraging frank discussion and knowledge sharing. Among other things you will hear about:

  • The battle for the best programming
  • Content and audience fragmentation – and the potential for re-aggregation
  • Changing distribution strategies, including at sports rights holders
  • New market opportunities using flexible price-points and packaging
  • What modern consumers want from a TV offer, and how to deliver it
  • The content discovery and navigation that will form the new UEX battleground.


13:30 - 14:00 Arrival. Refreshments. Networking



The fragmentation of content and viewing behaviour, and the potential for re-aggregation

  • How the premium content universe is expanding and fragmenting, with great content – and consumers – found in more places
  • Are SVOD giants super-serving specific genres, like sci-fi and fantasy, and does it make them increasingly complementary to Pay TV?
  • Analysing the subscription habits in SVOD homes, including their use of multiple SVOD services, traditional Pay TV and Pay Lite offers
  • Defining the distinct categories of modern TV consumer, including the ‘Content Connoisseurs’, ‘TV Traditionalists’ and ‘Super-Spenders’
  • The content and UEX expectations of the valuable Content Connoisseurs – content-hungry, tech-savvy, ready to self-aggregate
  • The likelihood that OTT apps/content will be ‘re-aggregated’ within a gateway service, and prospects for Pay TV ‘super-aggregators’

Guy Bisson, Research Director, Ampere Analysis


Guy Bisson

Research Director, Ampere Analysis


Delivering the content, convenience and product diversity to keep Pay TV growing

  • Raising the bar again for the Pay TV UEX with the Sky Soundbox sound bar, optimised for Sky Q, and pioneering VR
  • The flexible Sky Sports pricing/packaging – including a dedicated Premier League channel – that opens up new growth opportunities
  • Broadening our reach with dish-free Sky Q; Building a new and distinct customer base with NOW TV, Sky Spain and Sky Ticket
  • The Sky/HBO co-production deal and how collaboration helps deliver world-class drama series with international appeal
  • Proof the TV industry can win local and multi-territory content battles: Sky/ARD’s Babylon Berlin, Germany’s most expensive series
  • Hayu ‘onboarded’ to NOW TV, NOW TV on BT set-tops, BT Sport on Sky: how suppliers and consumers gain if content is in one place.




Discussion: The future of content, distribution and aggregation in a hyper-competitive world

  • With deep-pocketed SVOD giants competing for rights, how can TV providers maintain content leadership, at home and internationally?
  • Should broadcasters keep licensing back-catalogues to SVOD services, or use them to strengthen their direct-to-consumer offers?
  • Do direct-to-consumer sports league apps threaten Pay TV, or complement it with new content for super-fans, taking new money?
  • Who could rival Pay TV operators as ‘super-aggregators’ of OTT services; Can anyone provide discounts on multi-SVOD bundling?
  • To what extent will new data and advertising technologies improve advertising yield, and can all broadcasters and operators benefit?
  • Does the growth of SVOD signify a desire to avoid ads, and what contribution will subscription or advertising make to future content funding?
  • Are skinny bundles an example of managed decline for the Pay TV industry, or the birth of a new paid segment with untapped revenue?
  • Have we reached peak audience fragmentation, and should we expect some content re-aggregation or OTT market consolidation?


Dan Gopal

Dan Gopal


Entertainment One

15:30 Networking Break with Refreshments


The changing landscape for sports rights and distribution

  • The impact born-online distributors like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are having on sports TV distribution and rights costs
  • The opportunities and challenges for sports rights holders taking control of event production or building direct-to-consumer apps
  • The likelihood that online-only services will compete for top-tier rights packages, or serve subsidiary roles like limited simulcast
  • What ‘incumbent’ broadcasters and digital-only distributors can offer next to super-fans: behind-the-scenes, VR, social shows…
  • Can a mixed ecosystem of clips, on-demand, streaming, broadcast, mobile and social increase total sport media revenues?
  • Sports owner attitudes to ‘sustainability’: reaching future fans, younger viewers, poorer fans with video, to maintain broad interest.

 Lefteris Coroyannakis, Sports Business Advisory, PwC



Lefteris Coroyannakis

Sports Business Advisory, PwC


Discussion: Shaping the next-generation user experience

  • Is Pay TV too reliant on sport; What audiences or genres are under-served, and how do we broaden the appeal of the content line-up?
  • What impact will voice-command and conversational content discovery have on TV, and is this the next battleground?
  • What must broadcasters do inside their ‘player’ services to hold our attention for longer and keep people away from Netflix & Co?
  • If you want to be the default gateway UI for people seeking OTT apps content, what UX principles must you get right?
  • How can data analytics improve the UEX, and business prospects, for subscription and ad-supported TV – any low-hanging fruit?
  • Can Pay TV really accommodate the linear/EPG/DVR traditionalist and VOD-loving, socially active bingers and snackers in one place?
  • What backoffice/operating efficiencies can reduce costs or make it easier to integrate new UX technologies and deliver new services?
  • What are the future UEX game-changers – and what new experiences will people pay extra for: 360o video, AR and VR…?

17:30 Networking Cocktail Reception