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Public broadcasters discuss challenges facing industry

Thursday 27 Oct 2011
Over 200 members of the global public broadcasting industry gathered in Singapore for the 20th Public Broadcasters International Conference today, ChannelNews Asia reports.

Mr Teo Ming Kian

Singapore’s leading media company, MediaCorp is hosting the event, which has some 43 public broadcasters discussing challenges faced by the sector.

One such challenge was how public broadcast services could be reinvented in the face of new media.

Mr Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of MediaCorp, said: “To come up with innovative ways to engage viewers, public broadcasters will have to refine and improve our story-telling techniques”.

During the conference, panel speakers discussed ways in which their own broadcast companies used technology to innovate.

For example, the Public Broadcasting Service in the USA has a free service for classrooms to spice up children’s educational content. It includes videos, interactive features and lesson plans.

British public service broadcaster, BBC, said it has had success with its Internet television and radio service, iPlayer, which allows its viewers to “catch up” on the last seven days of programming they may have missed. It also plans to launch an Internet-connected television platform called “youview” next year.

But industry players agree that costs remain a challenge for creating content across multiple platforms.

Matteo Maggiore, Controller of International Policy at BBC UK, said: “The main challenge will be to sustain the resources for an investment that has to grow in time rather than decrease”.

The conference which ends on Saturday, will cover topics such as financial models and the digital switchover.