Foxtel and MCN leaders on the changing TV landscape

“MCN had a brilliant business prior to the Ten representation and it will be a brilliant business in the future.”

On a blockbuster Thursday edition of Mediaweek TV on Sky News Business this week, the chief executives of Foxtel, Patrick Delany, and the CEO of MCN, Mark Frain, talked about how they are adapting their businesses for the changing TV landscape.

When asked about how much the loss of the Network Ten business could hurt MCN, Frain replied: “MCN had a brilliant business prior to the Ten representation and it will be a brilliant business in the future. It will change MCN to be sure, but with some of the plans Patrick is developing at Foxtel, the innovation we will bring to market will be very exciting.

“There is a new battleground emerging around the attention economy, which for media and advertisers is where the future is playing out.”

Frain admitted they might be able to replace some of the departing Network Ten revenues with new opportunities. “In the last couple of weeks I have had a very interesting introduction to life as a CEO in the media world.

“The number one focus has been on our people and how we transition the business over the next six to 12 months.

“There are a number of new opportunities from businesses that have approached MCN for representation. They would complement the powerhouse that is Foxtel and take us into different areas. They are screen and video based with premium brand-safe content, which is the core DNA of MCN and Foxtel.”

Patrick Delany, who is also the new chair of MCN, said the subscription TV business is about getting to masses through niches. “With the advent of streaming and even more niche programming, I see that as a huge opportunity for us.”

Delany used the TV appearance to emphasise how Foxtel will use streaming to engage with more customers. He explained that live TV will also continue to thrive on the platform.

“We will be repositioning Foxtel. Foxtel has always been a premium product and it will remain a premium product. We will deliver value like never before. We will deliver television innovation like never before. The iQ3 set-top box and subsequent upgrades are stream machines. Channels will have a role in the future, but perhaps not as big. Brands will be very important.

“You will see us get very big in drama and movies and that is part of repositioning the business.”

Delany said there would be announcements and the launches of new products every two or three weeks later this year.

He wouldn’t be drawn on special low-cost sampling packages for the two-thirds of the population who don’t have access to a Foxtel subscription.

Watch the special edition of Mediaweek TV on Sky News Business here.

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