Endemol boss warns of threat to ads from PVRs

Endemol boss warns of threat to ads from PVRs

Broadcasters must focus more on event-based television if they want viewers to watch scheduled programmes, the chairman of Endemol UK warned last week.

Peter Bazalgette told a Channel 4-organised seminar about the rising threat of personal video recorders such as Sky+, which enable viewers to watch TV programmes when they want to and to fast-forward through ads if they wish.

"We all know PVRs are going to have an effect on our business," said Bazalgette. "They could make broadcasters less of a scheduler and more like a video and entertainment library."

He pointed to the recent Rugby World Cup final and reality TV shows such as Big Brother as examples of television vehicles that encouraged viewers to watch programmes in real time rather than after the event.

And he encouraged broadcasters to apply their public service commitments to staging eventbased programmes.

"Restoration on BBC2 was a great example of this," said Bazalgette, who also held up interactivity as a key driver in getting people involved in programmes and encouraging them to watch them at the scheduled times.

The BBC's Restoration programme, created by Endemol, nominated a number of British buildings in need of repair and made the case for each.

At the end of each programme, viewers were asked to vote for the building they wanted to save.

The predicted growth of PVRs poses a threat to broadcasters and advertisers because viewers watching recorded material are more likely to fast-forward through TV advertising.

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