Eric Klein, CEO, High TV 3D
While 2011 was characterized by more sober predictions for the take-up of 3-D TV, there are still many believers among broadcasters in the medium. Most ardent among them is High TV 3D, a broadcaster that claims it has the “most widely distributed channel globally.” Eric Klein, CEO, High TV 3D, discusses his 3-D TV outlook for 2012.
VIA SATELLITE: Could you outline High TV’s plans in terms of producing 3-D TV content and launching a new 3-D TV channel?
Klein: Given that High TV is bringing broadcast via multiple satellites, all of the content that we display has to be globally cleared copyrights. That is why 95 percent of the content on our channel is self-produced in our production facilities around the world. We produce about 400 hours of diversified entertainment content every year.
We are working extensively on the distribution of the channel. At this point, what we are doing mostly is trying to spread our channel as wide as we can, and to as many platforms as we can to make sure that 3-D actually gets standardized. If people don’t have enough content on their TV set, it means there will be no need or no desire to buy a 3-D enabled device. It is a chicken and egg scenario. It is either the content comes first or the hardware, but something has to come first.
VIA SATELLITE: Many analysts’ have said 2011 was the year that 3-D TV came back down to Earth. What is your view?
Klein: There are many variables. The most important people in this equation are the content managers of the platforms. On the one hand, they want to take up 3-D — everyone wants to have it — but, on the other hand, they are scared of it. 3-D TV is a scary word. Some of the technical people do not understand the technical requirements when it comes to taking up 3-D TV channels. Some people don’t believe there are enough TV sets to take up such channels. When the programming managers decide to take up 3-D TV channels as part of their regular channel line-up or a promotional tool for their HD packages, that is when the opportunity will come, and that is when it will be feasible for the content producers to produce more content and for the hardware manufacturers to push it harder.
VIA SATELLITE: How many households do you think are able to access your 3-D TV content?
Klein: I think only about 7 percent of the households in the markets we operate are able to access our 3-D content, but what you need to look at is the growth in the future. If a person buys a 3-D TV set now, and most sets being acquired today are 3-D enabled, they are going to have that set for the next three to four years. There have been well over one million 3-D TV enabled sets that have been sold globally.
VIA SATELLITE: What are your views on 3-D TV advertising?
Klein: We are examining the market at the moment and we have a few advertisers that are interested in displaying with us. We are now examining the most suitable partners for different markets. We have not deployed advertisements into our channel yet. This is something that will be done in the next couple of months since we have a global feed and all the advertising is global and can’t be localized. We are sitting on several satellites at the moment that are covering many territories.
VIA SATELLITE: Which countries do you think create the most exciting markets for 3-D?
Klein: There is a channel in China, CCTV, that is the government channel, and they have decided to launch their own version of a 3-D channel. There is a huge buzz in China around 3-D TV just because of this fact. Since we have the largest 3-D TV library in the world today, we have requests from more than a dozen different production houses including CCTV itself to partner with them and do that in China. We have also sold the master licence for High TV in India to the Time Group. Asia has been very accepting to us.
VIA SATELLITE: What new content do you think would prove particularly attractive in 3-D?
Klein: We are doing a market feasibility test of perhaps launching a children’s 3-D TV channel — an educational 3-D TV channel for children. We are looking into this seriously, but there has to be some financial feasibility of making sure the return on investment is somewhere there along the line. Depending on the market research, we are looking at a nine to 12 month gap between the end of the study and launching the channel.