Future looks bright

GRANT PETTY, CEO, BLACKMAGIC
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Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic, has rather different views from those who fear the impact of the Internet on future of broadcasting.

“I don't think the broadcasters have many challenges,” he said.

Petty views online as a complement to broadcast.

“Music file-sharing has not affected radio,” Petty said. “The Internet doesn't replace live television.”

Petty believes that broadcasters will focus more on local content mixed with the usual worldwide syndicated programming that they can get from other sources.

“There will be changes, with more focus on local content and local communities,” he said. “Live production will be a growing market to serve this local market. You have worldwide localization; a U.S.-based network is still local in the global context.”

Petty continued, “I think broadcasters worry too much. The technical challenge is to serve the global viewers with the local community news, encoding the station output for the Internet. The broadcaster becomes the community center, so even if you are travelling, you can watch your local news and events. People even look up the weather back home. The challenge is to encode all the different formats to consumer devices, rather than just pumping one signal to the transmitter. You need to be on both.”

Petty noted that the computer industry is solving the delivery problems, leaving broadcasters to focus on creating and encoding the content.