The president of ESPN had harsh words for online streaming video services today during an appearance at the NCTA's Cable Show in Los Angeles, Deadline.com reports.
John Skipper said of rivals such as Netflix, Amazon and Yahoo: “We have better product than they do. Shame on us if we don’t protect our turf."
The ESPN head added: “We’re allowing them to set the tone of the conversation — we should set the tone of the conversation.”
Skipper also called ESPN “the single greatest buttress in the pay-TV package."
He wasn't alone in his disparaging words for streaming services.
"The sports TV boss and Cable Show co-chair was joined today on the panel in the cavernous West Hall of the LA Convention Center by Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc, Turner Broadcasting Systems CEO John Martin and Suddenlink CEO Jerald Kent," the report notes.
Said Dubuc: “You’re dealing with a Netflix and Amazon that are not sharing their viewership."
The topic also turned to the battle for programming among an ever greater number of outlets. Said Dubuc: “The demand for content has never been greater and the demand for creative talent has never been greater. I worry a lot about where the next generation of creators is going to come from. The next generation of creators is going to YouTube, to VICE, and how do we attract them to us?”
Turner's Martin gave a nod to AMC's massive hit "The Walking Dead," saying: “I think it is amazing that the No. 1 show on television is on cable. I would like to see any remaining distinction between cable and network blown up."