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Rupert Murdoch not optimistic for economy, Philippe Dauman still believes in content

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April 2nd, 2009

Content doesn't follow eyeballs. Content follows money - Viacom CEO, Philippe Dauman Liberty Global CEO, Michael Fries

Peter Kafka of All Things Digital's Media Memo attended the cable show and covered a panel discussion with Rupert Murdoch (News Corp) and a few other CEOs, Jeffery Bewkes (Time Warner),  Philippe Dauman (Viacom) and Michael Fries (Liberty Global) that was moderated by FOX News' Nick Cavuto.  Here are some snippets:

Starts with Q&A with Murdoch.
NC: Are things getting better?
RM: I think the long term situation is still extremely dangerous. I'm pessimistic, because every family is poorer and they're going to save more and spend less. Even more dangerous if the government throws too much money at the problem:

NC: What if you're wrong?
RM: "I pray I am"

[...]

NC: You have great content but on the Web, many people don't pay for it. What can you do about that? Do you have to do deals with the likes of Hulu, and get pennies on the dollar instead of giving it away?

PD: There's a middle ground we're trying to follow. Consumer behavior changes, revenue models have to change, too. We put a lot of content on line, we also do a lot "windowing". Some content like news goes online right away, and the Daily Show. That's on Hulu. But you do get incremental monetization "if you do it right". Daily Show ratings are up since we went on Hulu. We have to experiment and see what we can do to enhance the experience.

MF: Content doesn't follow eyeballs. Content follows money. Content providers want first and foremost to get paid. Consumers want random access to content. They want high quality content. I like the idea that Time Warner and Comcast are promoting [to put all their stuff online] "is a no-brainer". Online now has a negligible impact on TV, so right now it's something we can get a hold off.

RM: It varies from show to show. A good show can get improved ratings over time, via the DVR. Like "24?. A lot of stuff that's DVR'd is played that evening. "There's no loyalty to audiences at all. There's loyalty to certain shows."

- read the full transcript

 
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