In addition to being the head of The Chernin Group, Peter Chernin is on the board of Twitter. And folks behind the company’s Periscope streaming app had “no intention” of facilitating the pirating of this past weekend’s Mayweather-Pacquiao championship fight, he assured an audience of cable execs in Chicago for the industry’s INTX confab.
It was an unintended consequence of a service that makes it possible for smartphone users to live stream events. That’s “a great opportunity,” Chernin says.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, appearing with him, did not appear to feel threatened by the change. Piracy accounts for “the vast minority of how people consume” video, he says. Indeed, “video from the net is a great thing for our businesses. Net-net, it’s powering our growth.” Yesterday Comcast said that for the first time it has more broadband customers than TV ones.
Chernin added that cable programmers and distributors don’t have to fear that the lucrative pay TV bundle will dissolve as consumers find new — and potentially less expensive — ways to buy programming. “You’ll see [the bundle] rationalized in some ways,” he says. The competition will “force the bundle to justify itself. That’s not the worst thing in the world.”
Still, he expects to see a lot of growth in online video. “That business is largely been a YouTube business for the last five years and now you’re seeing enormous competition — a lot of ut in the last five-to-six months” from companies including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and AOL .
That should boost “leverage on the part of content creators” — especially those who have strong brands. They will “not only survive, they will thrive” in a world where “every consumer now is his own aggregator.”
Prior to the panel, Roberts showed off Comcast’s new voice controlled TV remote control — and a sense of humor in the wake of his decision to pull the plug on his company’s controversial $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The Comcast chief told his remote to show the merger. It brought up a scene of an explosion from Fast & Furious.