What stand out as some of cable’s priorities as we look at the state of the industry in 2013? Most European cable companies have now a unique window of opportunity, as their networks are further developed that that of their telco competition. This advantage will however not last forever as eventually both telco’s and new entrants start rolling out glass fibre networks. Cable companies should use their current advantage by continuously investing in their networks to make sure that they will be competitive also in the midterm , by rolling out their bundled offerings and thus intensifying their customer relationships and by investing in superior customer service so that churn will depend less on network capacity and price.
Can you tell us a bit about what the competitive landscape for the European cable industry looks like and how it has changed over the past few years? The cable industry is clearly consolidating with fewer and larger players offering better networks and profiting from skill and scale effects. Competition is increasingly about data and bundles, with not only telco’s as the new main competitors but also (global) over the top players, which profit from “the winner takes all” effects. The definition of what competition is, is shifting fast and incumbent players can either decide to fight each other for what is left of the “old” market or decide to try innovative alliances and thus strengthen their role vis-a vis the new entrants..
What sorts of strategies have you noticed cable executives adopting to stay ahead, especially where innovation is concerned? Most cable executives seem to be driven by the fear to become a “dumb pipe” dependent on the whiles of the regulator and have thus been investing in deepening their offering through content and services, either organically or through a portfolio of acquisitions. The results so far have been mixed and maybe cable companies should be more stringent about…
Annet Aris is joining Rosalia Portela of ONO, Dana Strong of UPC Ireland, Berit Svendsen of Telenor Norway and Miranda Curtis of Liberty Global in the Panel Discussion: View from the Top, moderated by a CNN news anchor, Nina Dos Santos. View the latest agenda here.