Kohnstamm: cable requires national scale

Cable operators require national scale so consolidation makes sense, but consolidation between operators and content providers in Europe is less compelling according to Manuel Kohnstamm SVP, Liberty Global and president, Cable Europe.

There will be “more incursions” by operators into the content space but the lack of a Europe-wide media player means that the type of merger that has taken place in the US is not on the cards, Kohnstamm told DTVE at the recent Cable Congress event in Dublin.

Kohnstamm said that merger control procedures take “too long for the speed with which the sector is evolving – we need a speeding up of that process,” eh said.

Kohnstamm said cable “is perfectly positioned to take a central role” in the new media landscape because connectivity is required for all applications.

“Cable companies are increasingly operating as online service providers,” he said. “That is where the industry needs to innovate and improve.”

The cable industry is transitioning to digital at an acceptable speed, but focusing on the customer experience remains a priority, said Kohnstamm.

Kohnstamm said that on the regulatory front there was an issue with national regulation “deviating entirely from what the EC wants”, for example through cable access regulation in the Netherlands

Creating a “level playing field” in the area of privacy and copyright is also important, he said. There needs to be equivalency between new digital players and established players, Kohnstamm said.

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