Viacom, Discovery, AMC, BBC, ITV Bosses to Discuss Future of TV in Cambridge

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav will be among the high-profile speakers at the Cambridge convention.

"Happy Valley or House of Cards? Television in 2020"‎ is the topic of a biennial Royal Television Society convention near London.

The‎ challenges and opportunities of the fast-changing TV industry will be in focus next week when U.K. and U.S. top executives gather in Cambridge, England for a biennial Royal Television Society conference.

‎BBC director general Tony Hall chairs this year's RTS Cambridge Convention, which runs Wednesday-Friday and has the theme "Happy Valley or H‎ouse of Cards? Television in 2020." Happy Valley is a BBC drama, while House of Cards was originally a BBC drama that Netflix adapted into its first original series.

In the speaker lineup, he will be joined by, among many others, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan, Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, Wayne Garvie, chief creative officer at Sony Pictures Television, ‎ITV CEO Adam Crozier, ITV Studios managing director Kevin Lygo, former Sony boss Howard Stringer, who will question Zaslav, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie, who will interview Davie, and Channel 4 CEO David Abraham.



They will discuss "the challenges for content, creativity and business models." Said Hall: "The TV landscape is changing fast. Viewers have access to a multitude of new ways to watch their favorite programs, and since the last RTS Cambridge Convention in 2013 there have been seismic changes across the production sector."

Among the panels will be one entitled "Working for the Yankee Dollar? Consolidation and Creativity." It will feature Garvie, Abraham and Endemol Shine Group president Tim Hincks.

The convention takes place on the same days as the annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference in New York, which will also feature ‎top entertainment industry executives speaking to investors following the recent sector stocks declines amid cord cutting and other fears.

Media and entertainment stocks in Europe also were hit by the recent U.S. drops. August “brought turmoil, both because of structural concerns (on the back of a "meltdown" in U.S. media valuations) and fears of a significant slowdown in global growth,” said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi in a report on Friday. “We like cyclical stocks with exposure to European recovery and diminished valuations,” such as ITV.

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