Discovery CEO Says TV Industry Must Fight Back Against Netflix, Apple

Discovery CEO Says TV Industry Must Fight Back Against Netflix, Apple

Netflix, Amazon and Apple are posing a serious threat to the television industry, therefore, the chief executive of Discovery is asking the industry to take measures to check the erosion of its power by these firms, says a report from Telegraph. Discovery is the television arm of John Malone’s media and telecom group.

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Importance of curated content

Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s total comp package last year was worth more than $156 million, making him the best-paid chief executive in America. Zaslav’s said broadcasters and producers must jointly resist the pressure imposed for their programs and shows by the technology giants who stand to benefit hugely from it.

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Speaking at the Royal Television Society Conference in Cambridge, Zaslav said that in the absence of anti-trust laws “we’d all get together and say no, no, no, here’s how you’re going to offer it.” Explaining the reason for his approach, Zaslav said they are not biased or do not want to stick to the old model, but believe the content needs to be curated.

Speaking to the senior executives from the BBC, ITV and Sky, Zaslav said Apple is a fantastic company and the best at building the right consumer interface. Even Netflix, Amazon and all the device opportunity are really great things, but it must kept in mind that these are mere devices. It did not matter how colorful they are or how they are made to come up on screen. In the end, it is nothing more than a “pipe and a device.”

Netflix dependent on program makers

Emphasizing the dependency of these services on the program makers, Zaslav said, “Where’s Netflix without our great content? How many iPhones would you buy if all of our stuff wasn’t on there?” The streaming services tend to strip away channel branding to offer programs individually as part of vast libraries, and this is not at all good for viewers because “6,000 choices equals zero,” the executive said.

Discovery has become a major global player after it expanded outside America. Discovery acquired Eurosport, a sport broadcaster, last year, and this year it scooped up the rights to the 2020 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Netflix is fearing no one. The streaming firm continues with its global expansion, and recently debuted in Japan. Netflix plans to make its service available in four more Asian regions by early next year.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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