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TV’s Business Model Feels the Squeeze

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Two major former U.S. network and studio executives opened the Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News Next TV Summit here last week by arguing the biggest investment opportunities are in international markets and that the U.S. cable and broadcast business face serious challenges to their business models.

“We are at an inflection point [where cable and TV companies] are valued higher than they have ever been but if you look at the underlying dynamics, it is really not a pretty picture,” Jeff Sagansky the co-founder of Global Eagle Entertainment and Silver Eagle Acquisition, said during the Summit’s opening keynote Q&A session. Sagansky is former president of CBS Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Harry Sloan, Sagansky’s partner, argued that “major media companies are terrible at digital investment,” adding “in general their investments in new media have been a total wipeout.” Sloan is former chairman and CEO of MGM and founder of SBS Broadcasting.

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