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TOTAL LICENSING
lishing, mobile phone content and so
Britain has often been
Stephen Gould: “Historically, the
on. The broadcast market is only go-
accused of merely
UK has been the poor relation to
ing to become more fragmented and
following the US lead.
the US in licensing terms. In many
so this approach is fast becoming es-
Do you think this is a fair
ways we’ve been like the 51
st
state
sential”.
statement? If so, why. If
separated by 3500 miles of water.
That relationship, however, was only
Clare Piggot: “We have yet to see
not, again, why?
ever with the East and West coasts
the launch and sustainability of a prop- as middle tranch America was always
erty that is based entirely on a non-
Sean Clarke: “I would not necessar-
a long way from synergising with old
terrestrial platform. But multi-channel
ily agree with this statment, in that we
blighty. What tenuous affinity does ex-
satellite and cable penetration is ex-
are following the US. We clearly buy
ist is, however, fading and in terms of
panding, and I firmly believe that, soon-
a lot of US programming and have
consumer taste and preference there
er rather than later, a TV property will
some pretty dominant American kids
has recently been a significant shift to-
launch successfully in the consumer
satellite channels. The challenge re-
wards the European mind-set and this
products market without the aid of
ally is down to how you can finance
is a trend that will continue. That said,
a terrestrial channel. It could well be
UK developed shows in a climate of a
the dominance of the US based purely
one of ours. In terms of broadcasting
plethora of kids shows that have been
on it’s size will continue to effect all
and licensing, the two are inextricably
financed from the US. But we do have
markets worldwide. As Dean Swift
linked. The consumer products find
a balance to this with some strong UK
puts it : “The US is like the fat boy in
their way into people’s homes and
developed shows in particular in pre-
the canoe, when he moves everyone
reinforce the broadcast message. In
school.”
must adjust”. The juggling act mov-
other words you watch the TV, buy ing forward will be to ensure that we
the consumer products, play with the
Ciarán Coyle: “In the UK, pre-school
do not simply follow the US lead, but,
consumer products, and watch the TV.
is dominated by British properties, but
rather harness the bits worth harness-
One hand washes the other, you might
beyond that, properties originating
ing and then to leave a trail rather than
say”.
from the US film studios hold a greater
following the track”.
share and influence. When it comes to
Claire Shaw: “Historically having
brand licensing, although British luxury
Richard Hollis: “The nature of our
terrestrial broadcasting in place was
fashion brands have been successful in
remit – being the commercial arm of
deemed pivotal to springboarding a
the U.S., American brands do seem to
the BBC – means this applies less to
successful L and M programme, but in-
have been more successful in Europe
us. Our merchandising programmes
creasingly as the multichannel universe
in general and the UK in particular.
are developed closely with the brand
becomes more mainstream this trend
Success depends principally, of course,
owners of TV shows transmitted on
is becoming less prevalent. Two exam-
on how the brand and product/service
the BBC – however we always look
ples would be Dora The Explorer on
resonates with the target audience. To
at the global potential of a property
Nickelodeon and Ben Ten on Cartoon
give a couple of examples, iconic US
and so our licensing programmes are
Network, both of which are having in-
brands like Harley-Davidson and Jack
developed with this in mind. The best
credible success at retail.
Daniel’s, both have thriving licensing
ideas can be developed locally, and
However, there is still a strong place
programmes in the UK, but I cannot
then successfully adapted and trans-
for terrestrial television broadcast-
think of an equivalent UK brand with
lated to suit US audiences too”.
ing and it is still considered to be the
a similar level of success in the US in
barometer for gauging how well an L
the same lifestyle arena”.
John McInnerny: “On the big mov-
and M programme is likely to perform. ie franchises, the likes of Disney and
ER’s Postman Pat SDS is scheduled to
Nicholas Durbridge: “No, we are
on certain classic properties this is a
air on BBC2 at the end of September
good at creative properties – Teletub-
charge that could be levied. We are
and an exciting range of products in-
bies, Bob the Builder. After all, Winnie
not alone in this but I do feel for the
cluding track systems, locations, play-
the Pooh was British in origin. Con-
size of nation we are we come up with
sets and plush will launch at retail in
sumers often respond better to British
more than our fair share of interest-
January 2009”.
classics such as Paddington rather than
ing intellectual property rights. This is
US properties that don’t deliver”.
something to be proud of”.
Anthony Temple: “It’s becoming less
important as the whole media envi-
Angela Farrugia: “ No, the UK
Bettina Koeckler: “I think not only
ronment becomes diffused and diluted.
brings much to the consistency and
the UK but all markets are following
Terrestrial broadcast will always spawn
quality of Entertainment licensing.
the US lead to a certain extent. Even
success but the triggers for successful
The UK has a robust and thriving in-
though licensing has already been in-
licensing are now coming from many
dependent industry separate to the
troduced to the UK market by Beat-
other sources”.
US. The UK still creates programming
rix Potter’s Peter Rabbit as early as in
that far exceeds quality and longevity
the 1920s, it was still the US who ex-
of product lifecycle”.
118
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