Discovery Boss David Zaslav Will Deliver the Prestigious Royal Television Society International Keynote Next Month

 Discovery Communications

LONDON - Britain's broadcasting elite is gearing up for a packed three-day industry stock-take at the biennial Royal Television Society Cambridge Conference, held among the dreaming spires of the ancient university town Sept. 14-16.

Gathering for the prestigious once-every-two years event, execs including BBC director general Mark Thompson, ITV CEO Adam Crozier and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will attempt to shape industry policy going forwards and make sense of the waves of change buffeting the media and broadcasting industry.

A packed diary of sessions will look at how media is faring as broadcast, mobile, broadband and on-demand converge create shifting patterns of consumer consumption, as well as try to evaluate future scenarios for the creative industries - a giant net contributor to the British economy.

Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will deliver the international keynote, telling the audience of Britain's most senior executives that content is king and that programmers will rule in the multiplatform world.

Warner Bros Entertainment U.K. and Ireland boss Josh Berger will joint BSkyB COO Mike Darcey to tussle over the thorny issue of ever-shrinking content windows as new platforms fragment audiences but perhaps generate a growing demand for movies.

RTL group CEO Gerhard Zeiler and Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett will look at the battleground of converged television and the internet and - aided by comedian David Mitchell - attempt to figure out which of the market-leading products has the edge.

Channel 4 CEO David Abraham and Google's U.K. and Ireland head Matt Brittin will look at the battle for consumer data and how it can be harvested to improve product offerings, as well as the privacy and responsibility issues arising from attempts to secure commercial advantage.

Shine Group president Alex Mahon, Fremantle Media CEO Tony Cohen and BBC Worldwide boss John Smith will talk about what it takes to build a global production giant and make the kind of paydirt content that can travel around the world.

Incoming BBC chairman Chris Patten will give his insight on the future of the $7 billion a year broadcaster as seen by its oversight committee, while BSkyB boss Jeremy Darroch will joint ITV's Crozier and the BBC director general to discuss the satcaster's future in the wake of News Corporation's failed $12 billion takeover bid.

Crozier, who heads the advisory committee putting together this year's conference - themed "TV Everywhere: Paths To Growth" - said it would explore how modern media companies could ride the wave of convergence.

"We’ll be tackling all the key issues," he said. "How do we measure our audiences across multiple platforms? What are the new strategies for creating and releasing content across platforms and across the globe? How do local businesses become global brands? What can legislators and regulators do to help creative enterprises help themselves to grow? What insights can we learn from global media players? And, crucially, what will advertisers and consumers want from all the new services on offer?"

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