Despite Nine and Seven’s share price taking a hammering during the week on the back of poor ad data, Seven West Media’s boss Kerry Stokes has said free-to-air telly remains a “powerful force”.
Speaking exclusively to News Corp’s The Australian, it’s unclear whether the comments were intended to calm nervous investors or was a calculated attack against the myriad of new entrants trying to lure audiences away from traditional media.
Stokes acknowledged the competition from the internet that was allowing viewers to pay to watch their favourite programmes on their terms but he said they “were an opportunity rather than a threat” to the traditional free-to-air networks.
“I’m not saying that we don’t have challenges but I very strongly believe that the challenges are opportunities for television,” Stokes said.
“I see a future in which the existing mainstream media will have a profitable and prominent place and that includes News Corp, 21st Century Fox, Seven, The West Australian, Nine and Fairfax.
“We tend to spend too much time beating each other up and not looking at the fact that we are still the custodians of a really important part of the Australian environment.”
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