SBD/Issue 84/Sports Media

Sports Media Execs Discuss Future Of Interactive Television

Hill Says U.S. Is Five To
Six Years Behind Europe

Fox Sports TV Group Chair David Hill, IMG's TWI Senior VP & Dir of U.S. TV Sales & Programming Bob Horowitz, NASCAR Digital Entertainment Dir of Film, TV & Music Entertainment Sarah Nettinga and Tony Hawk Inc. COO Pat Hawk addressed interactive television during a panel discussion hosted yesterday by the Digital Coast Roundtable. The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Chris Marlowe writes the panel "thought that one effect of interactivity and online programming will be to diminish the importance of demographics, which is currently fixated on the 28- to 49-year-old male." Horowitz indicated that VOD "for multiple feeds, real-time scoring and other special programming not suitable for traditional broadcasting now has a business model for getting content to the consumer." Horowitz noted that mobile applications "were another reason for a positive outlook." Horowitz said that TWI "has been involved in live scoring transmissions for the past three years `very successfully' in Europe." Hill said the U.S. "is five to six years behind Europe" in terms of those applications. Nettinga: "It's an awesome opportunity for sport. Our fans are insatiable." Marlowe writes that as for the "negatives presented by technology, TiVo and high-definition broadcasting were high on the list." Hill: "High def is being foisted on us by people who want to sell equipment. It's a huge additional cost." Hill explained that high definition "does not provide a better program or any other quality that would allow the broadcaster to charge more for advertising." Hill: "It just cuts into our budget" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/21).

HD: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Paul Bond writes Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, who is a partner in HDNet, yesterday at a National Association of TV Program Executives session, "called for content providers and cable concerns to step up the pace with their high-def initiatives." Cuban: "The more HD you see, the more you'll want." Cuban added that "just as viewers have embraced DVD over VHS, they'll demand more HDTV" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/21).

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