IBC2015 Conference to examine ‘The Future of Media in an Age of Disruption’

MUMBAI: The IBC Conference is an unrivalled global destination for networking, discussion and debate, presenting a mix of visionary keynotes, panel discussions and master classes with the most influential thought-leaders and innovators in their fields. With the rapid convergence of broadcast, IT and telecoms, this year’s conference theme ‘The Future of Media in an Age of Disruption’ provides the forum to explore new strategies, gain insight into business disruptors, chart future technological progress and examine how the industry can seize the new opportunities being created by the explosive growth in the consumption of TV and video content on smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Each day of the conference will address the myriad issues facing the industry, prefaced by a keynote address that will set the stage.  Attracting top-level executives, technical experts and visionaries from over 170 countries, with business interests spanning the full spectrum of content creation, management and delivery, as well as emerging markets and key industry disruptors, the conference ensures valuable access to insights and contacts.

The opening IBC Forum session, ‘Broadcasting in an Age of Challenge’, will reveal how four top media power houses are solving the challenges they face. Fran Unsworth, the first woman to run the BBC World Service, will explain how she plans to use technology to expand despite squeezed budgets and well-funded opponents such as Russia Today and China Central Television. David Butorac, who runs 146 pay TV channels in the Middle East and North Africa will show how quality content always wins in the end. Philip Luff, Managing Director UK and EMEA for Scripps Networks Interactive will explain how the Knoxville, Tennessee company is expanding around Europe – the latest deal winning control of Poland’s TVN. The big online players such as Google and Amazon are increasingly expanding into internet television with Amazon’s deal with Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame simply the latest. In the shock of the new the three “traditional” broadcasters in the opening conference session with be joined by Thomas Riedl to explain Google’s latest forays into TV. Riedl is head of Android TV Global Partnerships at Google in California.

In Thursday afternoon’s keynote ‘Is TV facing up to the Internet Era?’ Andrew Neil will be posing the big questions to industry leaders most affected by the connected era. How will the TV industry transform itself to ensure it delivers on this internet era of television? Will new entrants with no legacy but an internet background take over? How fickle is the TV consumer and just what are the positions of leverage to combat the players with nothing to lose and everything to gain?  With the future of all video delivery shifting towards IP, is the internet a distribution system capable of delivering to everyone, in high quality, the TV experiences they demand? And who ultimately pays for that infrastructure, given the recent moves in the Net Neutrality debate. In the meantime, how well are broadcasters, platforms and content owners embracing the big issues of content rights as the EU looks towards a Digital Single Market?

As media companies face an increasingly fragmented viewing environment, the keynote ‘Programming With Global Ambition’ promises to offer valuable insights into how one of the biggest players, Discovery Communications, is tackling the future and redefining its business models. Discovery's extensive digital portfolio includes leveraging its global channels and content to live broadcast and stream to consumers on all manner of platforms. The international business run by JB Perrette, President of Discovery Networks International, is key to the company's future. Today, Discovery reaches 3bn subscribers around the globe with an average of 10 channels in each of its 220 countries and while it operates predominantly pay TV channels it has branched out into advertiser-funded channels both through the acquisition of the SBS channels in the Nordic region and FTA launches of some of its pay brands in markets like Italy and Spain. In 2014 it purchased sports channel Eurosport, with a reach across both Europe and Asia and in a deal with John Malone's Liberty Global, purchased TV production company All3Media. 

Sling TV’s CEO Roger Lynch will speak in Saturday’s keynote ‘Over the Top Comes of Age’ to discuss how Sling TV (part of DISH) is pioneering the next-generation TV service.  Consumers’ appetite for online-delivered video is growing and some iconoclastic broadcasters, pay TV platforms and content providers like HBO, the UK’s Sky TV and DISH in the US are following (and trying to better) the Netflix model by creating streaming services to satisfy the demand for multiple-device TV. 

Sunday will see BT TV Managing Director Delia Bushell discussing how BT sees the future, how the broadcasting model is changing and how communications technology will evolve in the session ‘Telcos Tune Into Broadcasting’.  BT Sport and BT TV products are shaking up the competitive landscape for TV and communications services in Europe. Having agreed to pay ?7.6m for each of the 12 Premier League games it will air exclusively from 2016, BT is taking its TV business seriously and through integrated broadband, TV and phone packages it's trail blazing how a 21st Century Telco looks. The ?12.5bn agreement to purchase mobile operator EE in February this year adds another platform to BT's ambition to offer content and services across devices. 

IBC’s key streams are structured to allow delegates to navigate the conference with ease and maximise time at the show. The key themes discussed each day are seen through the lens of the different streams, each providing a unique angle and focus - be it technical, strategic or operational. Streams for 2015 include: Advances in Technology, Business Operations, Content Innovation, New Disruptors, Strategic Insights as well as the free to attend streams: Industry Insights and the IBC Big Screen Experience.

The IBC Rising Stars Programme offers a new generation of students and young professionals who want to join the content and media industry the chance to experience the realities of these sectors. A free-to-attend event, students, graduates and new entrants to the industry will have tailored and exclusive conference sessions tackling topics that really matter to young professionals. Delegates will get to see the latest technology and learn about how the industry is developing.  They will meet established, successful and highly influential industry figures, as well as some of the brightest and most ambitious young entrepreneurs working in the industry today. They will have exclusive opportunities to interact with a huge and varied number of people: all experienced, knowledgeable and keen to communicate with a new generation.

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