I’m sorry i just have to return to the subject

I’m Sorry I Just Have to Return to the Subject.

of Top-Down-Management -BskyB and Virgin Media!


Because of several reasons.

The first is the fact that we are passionate about our belief in the sheer superiority of interactive communication and the implications for the future.

Secondly Sky is constantly boasting about their interactive capabilities, yet it is obvious, from the very way they are treating viewers that they haven’t the faintest idea what the word “interactive” really means!

To them it is merely a facilitator to leverage more money out of gullible advertisers, and in that, they are ably supported by their second line troops, advertising agencies!

From everything we read about the fight between BSkyB and Virgin Media it is obvious that they don’t recognising that their most important relationship is not between the company and the brand and any given consumer, but between the latter and other individuals.

What happens in real life is what matters to or between them. BSkyB and Virgin Media should focus on creating real world social interaction or support the group’s interests-rather than forcing meaning on individuals through brain washing or bribery.

Thus, BSkyB and Virgin Media must change the way they think about their media properties, firstly it must be a major shift away from thinking about Sky and Virgin as ‘channels’ down which they tip messages and information.

Sky and Virgin Media are part of the biggest mass medium, which is broadcast. And that is command and control management, complementing big business thoroughly. Both are all about imposing control top-down and both are driven by ratings, research and cost per thousand.

Given the disgraceful episode of last week (and continuing) is it any wonder that people are turning away from ‘broadcast’ in their millions because of a number of reasons, together with disgusting episodes like this one, they have acquired other interests and concerns which broadcast cannot provide. Plus the fact that people are heartily sick of the sterile pronouncements of corporations and broadcast media.

I mean to say, just listen to this statement:

“We’ve seen this in the past. Sky is one of the most dynamic media companies anywhere in the world. I am very comfortable about the way we have conducted these negotiations. We have behaved very reasonably.”

This from the television company that has just deprived 3.3m cable television customers their ability to watch some of their favourite programmes!

If Sky or Virgin Media really understood the human desire for interaction

and put it into everyday practise they would never have arrived at this stalemate and, more importantly, they would, to day, have many many more satisfied viewers .

Of course neither company has given any evidence that they are at all concerned about their advertisers…talk about biting the hand that feeds them!

So the customers are now interacting with the few (partly) interactive vehicles open to them.

At websites such as MSN, BBC News and Guardian Unlimited, hundreds of viewers complained bitterly against what they saw as a childish row between those two arch Top-Down-Management devotees, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of BSkyB and Richard Branson, Virgin Media’s biggest shareholder.

It would appear, judging from the on-line statements, that many people blame Sky for the breakdown in negotiations that resulted in the Sky channels being removed from cable TV last week.

So much so for the statement “…We have behaved very reasonably.” Does the Sky spokesperson really believe this drivel?

Certainly one of the things broadcast people have lost sight of is that television, like all media functions, is done to make money!

Likewise they have lost sight of the fact that the sole purpose of programming is to get more advertising people to buy more of Sky & Virgin Media programming, more often, for more money.

So let’s review the human desire to interact in terms of the marketing of programming and TV stations. At the same time, hope that those people working within BSkyB or Virgin Media read this simple lesson and learn a little of what they should have already known and been doing, on behalf of their clients and in turn, their viewers.

And that is to start a regular interactive dialogue with their viewers and, for once in their lives, listen to what they are saying and do something about it!


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