This will be my final post as a credentialed press member of the NCTA’s “The Cable Show.” As the exhibits close and the out-of-town executives fly away, The Cable Show will have a lasting effect on all attendees and the even the City of Los Angeles. Downtown LA was the perfect venue for a conference of this large scale and it performed brilliantly from the food served to a variety of space for events and parking. It was all good; in fact great. This convention was indeed important to the city and with that, the Mayor even stopped by. Of course, more important that the venue choice, was the staff that tirelessly worked on this conference for over a year to make sure every “i” was dotted and “t” crossed. It ran like clockwork – congrats NCTA staff!
The exhibit floor offered attendees a plethora of choice in information, tchotchkes and celebrities. You name it – and it was here. Cloud TV, video streaming, national networks and even 3-D TV. The CSPAN digital bus was parked on the floor; Indians and their teepees were present at RFD-TV; Larry Flint posed for autographs in the Hustler TV booth and the Kardashians graced the conference thanks to E!
As far as goofy giveaways, the conference is now becoming knows for bags. Bags were the #1 giveaway item hands down. Epix had the best – a gigantic over the shoulder vinyl number and then there were the others: Nat Geo Wild’s burlap number and a patented leather beauty from AETN. Alcohol and smoothies were continually flowing and star sitings were common all day long. Ion Television had the best items in my opinion – each day they mixed up their gifts from watches to pedometers to jump ropes. The choices made you stop by once each day. Well done.
Today’s content centered about broadband with NCTA’s President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow interviewing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The early morning exchange was cordial and eye opening in the aspect that these two forces still have a great amount of work to do in making America more broadband literate. A word that kept being used today was “adoption.” This adoption is not about orphans, but used when referring to people who need to subscribe to broadband. For America is lagging behind other countries in this area and the more people who subscribe to the service, the better is it for all as that is the way that the percentage of users will increase.
On a PR note, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski held a special press conference later in the day in which the same was basically reiterated. But, I found it interesting to observe his media rep, Jen Howard. She stood by his side, stoically, for fifteen minutes. She also announced that there wouldn’t be any follow up questions, I have never seen that practice before – but she didn’t stick to that.
But, basically I did notice something that the FCC Chair kept saying…and I liked it. He said over and over that we need to “understand problems and try and find solutions. “ Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we were all in the solutions business!!!
In addition to that nugget, he further stated that he wants to keep the Internet an open source and make sure that it’s safe for use. He’s all for consumers and allowing them to get information when they want it on the Internet. He also said he and his staff are holding workshops over the net-I’ll have to check that out.
The second session I attended looked at social and traditional media and the panel reflected that with the heads of Showtime, Tivo, Cablevision, William Morris and Twitter waxing eloquent about the subject. The ipad was banted about freely as a game-changer as was the idea that premium content will always be at a premium (pardon the pun.)
When twitter was thrown into the conversation – that’s when it got interesting. Ari Emanuel from William Morris said that its his job is to make sure he get the most for his clients, including the power that their social connections bring. For instance, Twitter King Ashton Kutcher (nearing 5 million followers) twitter account brings power to products if he endorses something.
Before closing, I would be remiss if I did not mention the stellar party thrown in our behalf last night by NBC Universal. They opened up Universal Studios for a private party for convention attendees that include a concert by Maroon 5; catering by Wolfgang Puck and free arcade play. It was the closest thing to nirvana. I was finally able to ride “The Simpsons Ride” too. I didn’t win a stuff animal last night, but many did. I didn’t hear of one person who didn’t have a marvelous and memorable time. That gesture sure spoke volumes about the need for LA to host this convention at least once every ten years.
With that and my 900 twitter followers, I am signing off from my duty reporting on THE CABLE SHOW. A giant thank you for all who made this possible and graciously accepted me into their ranks. I now have to go on a major diet for I ate up a storm these last four days. The food like the conference was filling, fruitful and fabulous!