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What do CEOs think about all day?


Published: 2 December, 2011


What does the CEO of a cable TV company think about all day? It might be broadband, it might be triple play, but it is certainly focused on money and the overall profitability of the company he or she runs. But the average satellite TV guys thinks about only one thing - content.

The big moves in pay TV this quarter are that US cable is down, IPTV continues with its momentum, though it is slowing and DirecTV is way up, while other satellite broadcasters are off quite a way. The reason that DirecTV in the US did so well last quarter is because it decided to offer NFL games (National Football League) for free. And to see that this would drive subs through the roof in a semi-saturated pay TV environment, it needed a content guy in charge.

We have criticized people in the past in broadcasters for thinking solely about content - because they want to be better than other broadcasters and that meant they could miss the fact that it was broadband TV that was the real threat. But for the satellite player, who has no distraction about broadband, because generally they don't have any, it gives them the luxury of thinking about content.

In a cable business there is someone with that responsibility, but he's rarely the CEO, because the CEO also has to be responsible for broadband, for telephony and for plant upgrades and to develop a mobile strategy. The content guy may dream about content all day, but this quarter's Figures show that he rarely has the power to see it through - compared to the content focused CEO of a DTH satellite service, who has no other cards to play. And that's one hell of a way to fight cord cutting.

For a full version of our analysis of this story please go to and order this week's copy of Faultine and perhaps sign up for a trial.

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