In the late 1990s the traditional cable network model of aggregating content was under attack. Digital technologies had powered a rapid proliferation of additional channel. As the middleman in the ‘uncut movies for TV’ business Showtime Networks value was essentially based on scarcity; of content availability, content exposure, and a very limited option of similar channels. This increase in cable shelf space allowed new competitors to enter the landscape and more importantly drive up the cost of 1st run content. Even the exposed classic film content expense sharply increased.
Challenge: What field, or fields, should SHO play on?
Actions: As a member of the task force charged with scouting a new paradigm I brought my analytical expertise to bear. The analysis verified the teams original hypothesis that SHO had to integrate backwards into the content development arena in a significant way. Partnering with the other functional groups I quantified (financially modeled) the proposed business model and effectively communicated the advantages and risks, arming leadership with the factual information needed to gain corporate support.
A significant part of the analysis outlined how all of the internal stakeholders benefited without cannibalizing or disrupting existing business.
- Corporate green lighted the model shift
- As a result, SHO was able to take proactive steps to arrive at its destiny (52 films per year) on its own terms
- A secondary benefit was that shareholder value was secured through the possession of creative copyrights