In The Frame January '19
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In The Frame January '19

Every month, Frame 25 brings you the latest from the world of broadcast, TV and film.

Streaming / Online / Tech

A new report suggests that UK broadcasters are “teetering on an advertising precipice” and facing an “advertising tipping point” as a decline in linear viewing will lead to an erosion of TV advertising’s effectiveness. Growing numbers of 16-34-year-olds watch more streamed content and the other demographics will follow, meaning large-scale TV ad campaigns will no longer be cost-effective.

Among the key findings of the report:

Another report, by analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and published earlier in the month, said: “The [European] market underappreciates the pace of the decline in TV consumption and concurrent rise of online video...the UK is the European TV market most ripe for disruption and where we expect the share of TV to fall first. ITV needs to materially raise investments if it wants to combat the wave of video fragmentation.” ITV’s shares fell following the report’s publication.

New Ofcom research reports that TV sets and tablets dominate device use but time spent watching TV on a TV set (broadcast or on demand) is decreasing, and “there is a clear preference for watching YouTube content rather than TV programmes on a TV set, both among 8-11s and 12- 15s”.

DAZN has hired an experienced former Apple executive to help drive the sports streaming service’s global expansion, while the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the sport’s world governing body, has launched, “a global broadcast platform for hockey”.

BBC News

Director general Tony Hall has apologised to many of the BBC’s presenters after they were told that they had to be paid through their own personal service companies (PSCs), making them responsible for their own tax and leading to them being investigated by HMRC. The BBC is trying to reach a deal with HMRC to settle all the cases. “We’ve had some very tough and hard meetings with some of the people who are affected by IR35 [tax laws] - very hard meetings,” Lord Hall said.

Blue Planet II creator James Honeyborne has left the BBC’s natural history unit to launch a production company and sign a programming deal with Netflix.

The iPlayer achieved a record number of requests for programming last year – about 3.6 billion, 3 million up on 2017's total. The success was driven by views of award-winning dramas Bodyguard, Killing Eve and McMafia. Meanwhile, the BBC says that UHD and HDR iPlayer trials have been ‘a hit’.

The charity Age UK has launched a petition “to save free TV for older people”. Scrapping the free TV licence could push more than 50,000 pensioners into poverty, the charity warns, and calls on the government to “uphold its responsibility to fund free TV licences for the over-75s”. The BBC’s public consultation on age-related TV licence policy ends on 12 February. Bectu says that “the government must properly fund the BBC”.

And finally…

  • Peter Jackson is to direct a new Beatles documentary about the Let It Be recording sessions, based on 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, and using restoration techniques Jackson developed during the making of his WWI film, They Shall Not Grow Old.
  • Less than a week after Channel 4 announced its intention to base its national headquarters in Leeds, UKTV said it too was opening “a technology innovation hub” in the city, and now DAZN is moving into a brand-new office there too.
  • Input Media’s new digital clips service for the FA Cup third round reached 46 million views on social media. All 32 matches were made available as world feeds for The FA’s international rights-holders.
  • A growing number of projects being shot on film – and the format’s 4K/ HDR capability – are key reasons behind a partnership announced this month between Technicolor London and Cinelab, a film processing and scanning company. Recent cinema hits Mission Impossible: Fallout, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman 1984and Phantom Thread were all shot on film.
  • An influx of work from streaming services and traditional broadcasters has led to demand outstripping supply at some of London’s leading post-production houses, meaning their prices will rise this year for the first time in a decade.
  • Sky News will take viewers behind the scenes of its digital, television and radio operations during a full day of live broadcasting. Sky News Raw will be broadcast on its own pop-up channel from 7am-5pm on 5 February.

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