The Media Industry Convergence Strategy continues with word that BCE, Canada’s largest telecommunications company, is buying the country’s largest broadcaster, CTV.
Besides getting the largest broadcast network, for it’s $1.3 billion (Canadian) investment, BCE will also be picking up several cable channels. (Sound familiar, Comcast and NBC?). The deal follows an announcement that Canada’s Cable Giant Shaw Communications recently agreed to buy the television operations of CanWest Global.
BCE CEO George Cope told a press conference that the company wanted to lower the price of the content it was going to be putting on multiple platforms, particularly their mobile services.
Cope said he was motivated by something that happened during the Olympic games.
“We truly were kids in a candy store at the Olympics,” BCE Chief Executive George Cope said at a conference call, according to the New York Times. “I remember coming back from Whistler to Vancouver watching the women’s hockey game all the way on a handset,”
All over the world, the story is the same. Driven by the pace of media convergence, all kinds of media companies are getting into each other’s traditional businesses. In every case the motivation is similar: If they want to grow revenues around the creation of content, they simply must be prepared to build new revenue streams on emerging platforms. And if they merely own distribution platforms, they are vulnerable to two serious problems: 1) The price they will have to pay for content could get out of hand while at the same time 2) New distribution competitors are popping up everywhere.
And, as the consumption of media content is spread out over multiple networks and devices, the content creators have to figure out the business models that work best for every consumer.