@ NAB: Sweeney: “Technology Is Additive”

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Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group, is using her keynote time at an NAB lunch to pitch the broadcast industry, including affiliates, on Disney’s vision of multi-platform video as additive — not alternative. “I think there’s potential success for everyone involved if we take the right risks together and put our users first.” (That key word would be “together” — something that wasn’t the case when Disney unilaterally entered a video distribution agreement with Apple.)
Speaking of the iTunes decision, she said, “I know the move did not endear us to many in this room but it had to be done.” Her argument: “going forward piracy will be our number-one competitor.” Efforts like iTunes and the ad-supported streaming experiment starting next month are methods of competing. They’re also ways of trying to engage an audience that missed (or dissed) 80 percent of Big 4 network shows last season. “We’re convinced iTunes does not cannibalize our audience any more than DVDs of our series have in the past. In fact, we see it as supportive.”
Unfortunately, she had to speak and run so no sense yet of how her pitch played.

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