Cable gets slating at Monte Carlo seminar

Cable TV was savaged by Grey New York senior vice-president/director of national television Jon Mandel in his presentation on “the US experience” at TV95 in Monte Carlo last week.

Mandel said the UK should learn from basic mistakes made in the US more than six years ago.

“Cable very quickly went off its strategy of being niche,” he claimed.

Research showed viewers switching to cable services only after finding nothing of interest on network TV, and then staying for shorter lengths of time, he said. The average time spent with one of the big three networks is 27 minutes, he said. With cable it is nine minutes.

Nor did cable companies’ claim to attract better demographics through niche targeting hold true, he claimed. US viewers subscribing to packages of services bought into the concept of choice, not programmes, Mandel said.

“But even with greater choice, viewers don’t use it. They just want to know it is there.”

In the US, cable sliced the TV cake into smaller pieces, but did not offer anything additional sufficient to plug the gap. Now US networks are enjoying increased audiences after years of decline as they recognise the need to boost investment in programming.

Mandel’s comments were rebuffed by a number of UK cable representatives. UK Living/Gold sales director Nick Milligan said: “In the UK, people do subscribe for the programming.” And they watch them, too, he added.

Columnist, background TV95 pages 19-21

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here