Talking TV at the Opening Session of The Cable Show 2012

Industry Panel at The Cable Show 2012 Opening General Session. From left to right: Erin Burnett (CNN), Tim Armstrong (AOL), Glenn Britt (Time Warner Cable) and David Zaslav (Discovery Communications).

The Cable Show 2012 kicks off this morning in Boston, and over the next three days, cable will showcase it’s best programming, newest technologies, and the incredible array of ways to consume and interact with content.

At the opening general session, NCTA President Michael Powell spoke of TV as “the original social medium” – with family and friends gathering to laugh, cry, and cheer on their favorite teams.  Television’s – and broadband’s – place in our lives is indisputable with Americans watching TV more than 147 hours a month, and using the Internet for work and play.

The Cable Show will focus on both the business  and the pleasure of cable with sessions discussing business challenges and opportunities. The exhibit floor is  teeming with programming and technology vendors and celeb guest appearances.

The business aspect of the show kicked off during the opening session as well with Tim Armstrong (AOL), Glenn Britt (Time Warner Cable) and David Zaslav (Discovery Networks) taking part in a panel discussion of the revolution in media technology.

The discussion covered a wide range of topics from business models to the potential impact on the industry from technologies like ad skipping to over the top competitors.  Of ad skipping, Britt noted that a resulting decline in ad revenue would likely lead to higher subscription fees or fewer programming choices.

Zaslav noted the Discovery networks ownership of all of its content, and said the network had not jumped into online distribution early because they could not see a good business model.  TV Everywhere, he says, has changed that and offers not only secure distribution, but the inclusion of commercials to bring revenue.

Armstrong, stated that he was the non-TV participant in the discussion, focused on the interplay between traditional TV and new media.

Moderator Erin Burnett (CNN) led the panelists through a wide-ranging discussion that kept the standing room only crowd in place for the entire event.  The opening session was a great kickoff to the discussions that will be taking place in sessions and the show floor over the coming days.

– Michael Turk

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This was originally published on NCTA’s CableTechTalk blog and was reposted here with permission.

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