The Great Connected Television Debate: Nigel Walley (Decipher) on The End Of Television As We Know It

Nigel Walley, Managing Director of Decipher

Nigel Walley is Managing Director of Decipher the media strategy consultancy, and Chairman of the Decipher Group of companies. Since founding Decipher in 1998, he has worked on interactive media and technology projects for a wide range of clients including NTL, Telewest, ITV, the BBC, Sky, UKTV, Channel 4, Sony, the UK Govt (DTI), and Viacom.

Below a summary of Mr. Walley’s perspective during ‘The Great Connected Television Debate: Will The Internet Be The End Of Television As We Know It’ during IBC 2012. 

Nigel Walley from Decipher  on The End of Television at IBC 2012

The last speaker of the debate was Nigel Walley, Managing director of Decipher. He was relieved to be closing after Anthony since he had a hard time picking sides until Anthony Rose had spoken who he described as someone from the Klingon community. Mr. Walley has been a speaker at conferences for many years and on every conference there has been a new guru telling it would be the end of TV channels and that personalized TV viewing would take over. So during his closing argument Nigel Walley is going to prove they have been wrong in the last couple of years and are now as well.

Effortless entertainment

To start, Mr. Walley doesn’t want to curate his own TV experience, no matter the amount of on-demand content is available. His argument is that he paid for a subscription expecting the channels to provide him with valuable and entertaining content. He referes to a research under young people who owned a TiVo system and used the on-demand function but completely had given it up after a while. The research could be summarized by a young professional who noted that when he comes home after a long day of work he doesn’t want to do any effort to be entertained. Normal human being don’t behave like Anthony Rose predicts, normal humans want normal TV.

TV = Social

And there’s an important aspect in the here and now of TV. People often don’t go further than page one on their EPG and just wanna know what the country is watching. TV is a social gathering, people gather around brands and (live) channels. This is also true for family watching. While most people like to socialize around TV and watch with family and friends, it’s the (tech) industry that predicts otherwise. The reason for this, according to Mr. Walley, is that people in the tech industry don’t have family and friends. They are inventing TV from their basement writing code.

As a conclusion Nigel refers back to the debates question. Is on-demand and internet connected viewing making channels irrelevant? No, since it are the broadcaster who use the technology for their content. The channel brands are creating and controlling the future of on-demand TV. However, some channels will fail, and in an ideal world only 50 channels would be left that offer high quality content to any audience.

“Traditional channels are dead, long live traditional channels.”

Also read the perspectives of the other speakers during the great connected television debate at IBC 2012

Saul Berman, IBM

Saul Berman is Partner & Vice President, Global Strategy Consulting Leader & Innovation and Growth Services Leader at IBM Global Business Services. Mr. Berman wrote a paper in 2005 called ‘The End of Television as we know it’ (which served as the inspiration for this blog during my university courses in new media & television).

Read more about Mr. Berman’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.

Jon Honecutt, Discovery

Jon Honeycutt is EVP and COO for Discovery Networks International. He argues that people have always been talking about the death of TV industry or the death of linear channels. And although the industry has been through changes when free terrestrial was joined by paid cable and the analog signal became digital.

Read more about Mr. Honeycutt’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.

Nick Thexton, Cisco

Nick Thexton is CTO for the Service Provider Video Technology Group at Cisco in the UK. He most recently served as SVP and CTO at NDS before the acquisition of the company by Cisco this year. Het argues that it’s the channel that is changing and has to go through a transformative process, and that some of the channels will fail.

Read more about Mr. Thexton’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.

David Brennan, Media Native

David Brennan was Research and Strategy Director at Thinkbox from its launch in 2006 until August 2011, when he set up his own media consultancy – Media Native – specialising in the role of TV in the communications mix in the 21st Century.

Read more about Mr. Brennan’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.

Anthony Rose, Zeebox

Anthony Rose is Co-founder and CTO of Zeebox, a new platform that turns live TV into a two-way, social and interactive viewing experience on the seconds screen. Previously he headed up BBC iPlayer from 2007 to 2010, taking it from pre-launch to major success story.

Read more about Mr. Rose’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.


More in Broadcasting, Convergence, IBC2012, Post, The end of Television
Anthony Rose from Zeebox on The End of Television at IBC 2012
The Great Connected Television Debate: Anthony Rose (Zeebox) on The End Of Television As We Know It

A summary of Mr. Rose's perspective during 'The Great Connected Television Debate: Will The Internet Be The End Of Television...