Long reads

The Euro50 Q&A – Ignacio Garcia-Legaz

Ignacio Garcia-Legaz, vice-president, product management, TV, has been leading Telenet’s launch of its new TV Anywhere product Yelo, which has proved highly popular with subscribers.

Age 38

Education PDD at IESE Business Schoo; Master’s degree in Computer Engineering at Complutense University of Madrid.

Previous positions I have devoted most of my career in the telco and the cable industry. Prior to Telenet, I also worked for seven-plus years at ONO as business development director, in charge of the launch of digital TV, video-on-demand and analogue-to-digital migration, and before at Unitymedia as services manager. I also worked as an independent consultant, deeply involved in Portugal’s satellite TV launch, and Vodafone Spain’s internet TV product; I unsuccessfully tried entrepreneurship in the targeted advertising space. At the beginning of my career I devoted three-plus years to Telefónica research and development at the launch of the digital-terrestrial TV platform and another year in a governmental innovation agency.

Last year’s highlights The launch of Yelo, our TV Everywhere service, was really a challenge and learning experience. None of the US players had yet launched and content providers and broadcasters did not know how to address the challenge. The process of co-creating the product with the community and being transparent with consumers about the immatureness of the model was quite enriching and has provided us with valuable lessons for the evolution of such kinds of products that will be reflected in our products in the following months.

Most significant industry development To my mind, the introduction of tablet-based TV services – TV Everywhere, second screens, simulscreen – you name it – by many operators proves that there is a consumer need. The role of pay TV MSOs can be extended into other devices, and innovation is not an asset that only new over-the-top players own.

Goals for next year Next year is key for Telenet to keep our leading position on the Belgian TV market and it will be exciting to work simultaneously in several angles. With 80% PVRs, HD, 3D and second screen deployed, our customers are ready for our next generation of digital entertainment where the TV experience meets the home and the second screen in a smoother and enriching experience. This is very consistent with a step forward in our TV Everywhere offer (Yelo), with more cloud based entertainment services while extending to more platforms (consoles, connected devices etc). Finally, we will accelerate the analogue-to-digital transition, allowing more consumers to experience all the benefits of the connected home.

Industry challenges and opportunities Clarifying the model regarding the second screen: from the content rights perspective to the user experience, the link with social media and the role of the operators and third parties. The trend of pushing services to the cloud: music, gaming, network PVR, OTT content providers go in a different direction to new STBs and integrated gateways, putting more features and resources in the home. Establishing the right model and the relationship with other connected devices (TVs, consoles etc) goes further than just cost and features, challenging one the basic pillars of traditional operators: the user experience and ultimately customer control. It will be also the year when some topics being debated will have to show the numbers: OTT agent rollouts, changes in the value chain, cord-cutting, the role of CE manufacturers etc. All this will guarantee a lot of excitement.

Alternative career choice Underwater photography is my hobby but I have no doubt I would have ever been good enough to live from it. When I was a teenager, I also wanted to be a pilot, but now with too many miles on my back, I congratulate myself I didn’t.

TV character most identified with I have a confusing personality between Patty Hewes (Damages) and Jay Pritchett (Modern Family). I think both know what they want, and don’t care too much about what others think (despite that you won’t find me either wearing a skirt or tracksuit).

Most admired personality Vicente Ferrer, who recently passed over, and Mother Teresa: both were able to change the life of millions of people.

Life outside work I love spending time with my family and they mostly fill up all my leisure time. Diving and sailing are also my passion whenever I have a chance, and indeed even just a few hours on the sea with the kids enjoying the waves is enough to bring me a smile for weeks.