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TV or not TV, that is the question

June 12th, 2008

Current technological and social trends are paving the way for the Internet to topple television as the dominant source of home entertainment. The line between television and the Internet is already rapidly blurring.

Over the past 20 years the Internet has changed the way we communicate, get information, and do business. Now it’s turning socialising and entertainment on its head. And that won’t take 20 years. Two years would be closer to the mark.

Time spent in front of the TV is falling and Internet usage is climbing. A recent Australian survey found that the average Australian spends as much time on the net as watching TV. Internet vs TV   Â

Download the industry briefing paper I wrote for Lincoln Crowne & Company (an independent boutique investment bank) for a detailed analysis.

IceTV back in court

June 12th, 2008

Nine had IceTV back in court today, Thursday 12 June 2008. This was the consequence of the Full Court’s recent finding that IceTV had infringed Nine Networks’ copyright in their TV schedule (see my blog here and here for more details).

The matter was remitted back to Justice Annabelle Bennett to make the appropriate orders. Most of the day was spent debating the wording of the injunction restraining IceTV from further infringement. IceTV argued that the injunction should be narrow and be restricted specifically to the process which the Full Court had found to have breached Nine’s copyright .

Nine argued that a broader injunction should be included also, stating more generally that IceTV be restrained from reproducing their schedule.

Justice Bennett expressed her reluctance to make orders which simply retated the law, but Nine submitted that in the absence of such an injunction IceTV could simply “wriggle around” the narrower restraint.
However no conclusion was reached today. IceTV have sought leave to appeal to the High Court, and as this application will be heard on the 25th of June, it appears no orders will be made until after that hearing.

It’s good news and bad news for digital switchover

June 5th, 2008

TiVo recently announced that they will be launching in Australia as a free service. This is a very smart move, and assuming there are no hidden catches (such as the free service being for a limited time only) will guarantee rapid takeup and will motivate consumers to go digital. That’s good news for the government who are planning to start shutting down the analogue TV service in less than 2 years time.

On the other hand, TiVo is still a proprietary system controlled by the TV industry, and in the light of with Nine’s recent success in the courts it looks like the market for PVRs in Australia will be artificially limited. Download the industry briefing paper I wrote for Lincoln Crowne & Company (an independent boutique investment bank) for a detailed analysis.