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The future of non-terrestrial broadcasters in the UK television industry: the shape of things to come?

By Adrian Wills and John James Oliver


The UK television industry operates in a highly turbulent environment characterised by the rapid changes in; regulation, technology, audience behaviour and new media consumption. This competitive environment makes it difficult for television companies to identify strategies for growth and may indeed place their very survival at risk. \ud \ud This paper investigates the future of the non-terrestrial television broadcasters (NTBs) in the UK and examines how they can maintain and develop their position as major outlets for television consumption over the next five years. \ud \ud Empirical data was collected using a scenario planning methodology which is widely known for its value in addressing environmental uncertainty by illustrating the future as having a limited number of possible. A range of experienced industry practitioners participated in the development of four future scenarios, based on the degree of technological convergence and the number of television gatekeepers present in the industry. Having evaluated the implications of each scenario, and identified a number of early indicators that would signpost which was most likely to come about, the participants suggested three strategic options that non-terrestrial television broadcasters might adopt to compete effectively. These strategies included; investing in and owning original and exclusive content; forming strategic partnerships with other media companies; making significant investment in channel brands. \ud \ud Key Words: UK Television Industry, Non-Terrestrial Broadcasters, Scenario Planning, Competitive Strategy. \ud \u

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