The TV networks take on Mat Baxter: 'We're not the Titanic'

By Chris Pash | 11 June 2019

Australia's free-to-air television sector has hit back at Initiative global CEO Mat Baxter who described the networks as "short-sighted" and having missed a "major opportunity to unite".

Baxter last week told AdNews that Nine, Seven and Ten had an "old-world view" of the TV battleground, still seeing each other as competitors, instead of uniting against a common enemy in YouTube.

"The big three act like they're on three different boats at sea and they're shooting their cannons at one another. What they don't realise is they're all on one boat and there's a giant ice tanker or superliner with the word YouTube on it, heading right for them," Baxter says.

"If one of you sinks, you'll all go with it."

Today, ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate hit back.

She says she loves it when Australian talent makes it big overseas. 

"While I agree that the industry needs to continually to evolve, and in some areas, there is still much work to be done, the process is actually well under way," she writes in an opinion article.

Portrate describes feedback is a gift, especially when it provides an opportunity to reflect on where you have been, where you are now and most importantly, where you’re headed.

"The TV industry is dynamic and no-one has the luxury of resting on their single, or collective, laurels," she says.

"Recognising this, the broadcasters banded together to launch ThinkTV in 2016 in order to better serve agency and advertising clients and the industry itself.

"That’s just after Mat headed off to New York and it was the start of three years of pretty significant change in the way Australian broadcasters work together on issues of common interest.

"Since then, the industry has worked as a collective to empirically show the power and effectiveness of TV when building brands and businesses.

"A joint focus on video advertising has shown TV and Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD), both vital parts of the total TV platform, are superior to social video.

"To reframe Mat’s analogy, TV versus YouTube is a little more David versus Goliath than Titanic and an iceberg."

Read Kim Portrate's article HERE

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