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TBI Weekly: Brand power could hold key for the future of TV

This week, it’s become clear that simply having quality content is no longer enough to drive viewers to networks.

A core set of networks and providers dominate viewer time and those providing easy access to them fair the best, new stats show. So much for the brave new world in which anyone can compete with the big kids of the content playground.

Hub Entertainment Research has shown that although 41% of viewers claimed network brand didn’t affect their viewing preferences, most still stick to a few chosen names.

Given a choice of 52 networks and told that price is no object, viewers only chose 19.

When prices were included, viewing habits become even more selective, picking nine of a possible 52.

Unsurprisingly, Netflix was among the biggest draws, in the line with stats from YouGov in the UK, which showed in October last year that Netflix was the most positively regarded brand among millennials.

More surprisingly, the SVOD service generated the highest amount of interest in competition reality, even though it has rarely ventured into the genre.

Industry sources are wondering how the distribution matrix is going to shake out. Some are privately betting on super-aggregators, which bring major brands, channels and services together in one space (though they only exist in theory at the moment). Others have found solace in skinny bundle pay TV offers, and few are seriously betting on single brand networks – though the Hub research reminds us US broadcasters and cable networks still have a certain caché.

Furthering the point, it was also recently revealed that 86% of global viewers don’t want to juggle OTT services and would prefer a single access point for video content.

Ultimately, it’s all to do with where viewers will go back to again and again.

Also in the news…

Cake has signed deals in the US, Sweden, Finland, Australia, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Africa and a multi-territory deal with Netflix for the animated series Pablo

HBO has acquired Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom for its SVOD service, HBO GO, across Central Europe

The epic robot-fighting series BattleBots is making its return with all-new episodes set to premiere this spring on Discovery Channel and Science Channel in the US following ABC‘s decision to ditch it

Lupus Films and HarperCollins Children’s Books have partnered to develop Judith Kerr’s picture book The Tiger Who Came to Tea for TV

Brazil’s Birdo Studio and India’s Symbiosys Entertainment have partnered to produce 39 episodes on the animated comedy series Oswaldo – marking the first time the two territories have coproduced a show

Amazon Prime Video is set to produce a new reality series in India with Monozygotic Solutions named Skulls and Roses

Eurosport is launching three pop-up channels alongside Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 that, together with sports streaming service Eurosport Player, will bring fans in the UK and Ireland comprehensive coverage of the Olympic Winter Games 2018

Australia’s ABC ME has ordered 13 new half-hour episodes of the kids series The Deep, distributed by DHX Media

Rewind Networks and Canal+ Myanmar have launched the channel HITS on Canal+‘s Htoo Shall package

The week’s top TBI stories: