Sky Boss on Streamers’ Woes: ‘They Will Adapt and Change as We Have’

Sky boss Stephen van Rooyen said the streamers will have to adapt and change just as linear networks did a decade or so ago.

Van Rooyen, who is CEO of Sky U.K. and Ireland and CCO for the Comcast owned-Sky Group, was in conversation with Sky News anchor Sophy Ridge at the Deloitte and Enders Media and Telecoms conference on Thursday in London. When Ridge asked the media boss whether he had relaxed about the threat of streamers since the great “Netflix reset” of last year, he replied: “Actually I never really thought about it that way.”

“There’s been a lot of rhetoric about traditional TV versus new TV and all that stuff, particularly over the last seven or eight years,” van Rooyen said. “But we never really thought of it that way. We’ve thought about the customer, we’ve thought about the competition, we’ve thought about how it either presents an opportunity or how it can be aggregative to the consumer experience we deliver.”

“The broader truth is the entire media sector for the last decade or so, even longer, has been under forms of pressure,” he continued.  “TV advertising is under pressure, traditional media has had to adapt really to new technology. So for me, the SVODs, they are having challenge around their business model. They will adapt and they will change as well, as we have. We see it more as an opportunity – an opportunity to bring more to our customers and the partners. Particularly as they go through their own challenging transition.”

Van Rooyen also addressed the regime change at Sky News, with former CBS News president David Rhodes appointed executive chairman of the news org. “It brings opportunity,” said van Rooyen. “With David and others I think they’ll have a fresh eye, they’ll have a fresh perspective and I think they will bring their own view on how to evolve it.”

Pictured above: Sky Studios show “Gangs of London”

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