Channel 4 CEO: TV is fighting “Netflix and porn” for dominance

Forget Netflix and chill: Channel 4’s top executive, Alex Mahon, has said that the channel is competing for the attention of younger audiences with “Netflix and porn”, talking about the struggles that the television industry is facing as it tries to bring in an audience that is more familiar with watching their content online. 

Alex Mahon made the wisecrack as she talked about some of the forthcoming Channel 4 TV shows during the Edinburgh television festival, and reflects the feelings of the TV industry as a whole, with a growing feeling that young audiences just aren’t embracing scheduled television because — let’s be honest — why tune in at the same time every week when you can just watch your weekly shows whenever is convenient for you. 

Also, being able to pause TV shows whenever you want to go to the bathroom is brilliant. Checkmate, regular TV.

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This has caused a paradigm shift, with television bosses viewing it no longer as a competition with the other television networks as we’ve seen in the past, but with the entire industry in a pitched battle against other forms of entertainment. 

This is forcing a radical rethink of how to measure success, with British television bosses increasingly accepting that they are no longer competing with one another but are battling with other forms of entertainment for attention.

The Guardian, which reported the comments, also says that Channel 4 is looking to improve its All 4 catch up service, hoping to get viewing hours up for catch-up services to make up for the people that aren’t tuning in to live viewing figures. This is a change in what defines a “successful” tv show for the network, and could see a bigger change in strategy moving forwards.

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