Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Talpa aims for change (?)

The new Talpa TV station in the Netherlands presented its fall schedule yesterday. It aims for a 10% martet share in an already overcrowded space (9 general stations so far, 3 each from the public broadcasting networks, RTL and SBS). Talpa will start as the new TV venture for John de Mol, co-founder of TV-production company Endemol. His company produced the famous 'Big Brother' format and was sold to Telefonica in 2000. John de Mol cashed EUR 2bn.

The most striking claims probably are:
  • Talpa intends to be an innovator in the Dutch markt. From the viewer's point of view this seems unlikely, looking at the list of personalities that were engaged. Stale, to say the least.
  • The TV landscape will see more change over the next 5 years than during the past 50. An easy one, given that John de Mol almost literally quotes Comcast's Brian Roberts: “My dad got into cable in 1962, and here we (...) can say we think it's going to change more in the next five years than any time in the 40 years that our dads were working in television” (Seattle Times, September 29, 2004).
  • Talpa will not shy away from making complicated deals with advertisers, including investments. Sounds like product placement. A booming market, but let's hope Talpa will exercise some subtlety and safeguard us from 'Truman Show' type programming.

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