Monday, February 2, 2015

Bye-bye Cable Show. Hello Internet & Television Expo.

You may have just heard that The Cable Show is being renamed “The Internet & Television Expo” and are scratching your head why the NCTA would drop a name with as much brand equity?
We think it makes sense, and here’s why.

With the demise of The Western Show over a decade ago, the Cable Show took over as the sole “programmers show” and while it’s done an admirable job, the industry landscape has changed – a lot.  As you know, the only significant distribution channels for programmers in the early 2000s were cable and satellite, but today you can add in telcos and much more importantly, OTT has arrived to change the dynamics dramatically.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu – you know who they are and what they’re up to.  Beyond relying on cable and other broadband networks to deliver their OTT programming, these virtual MSOs are also producing their own premium content.  “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” have garnered Netflix numerous Emmys and other industry awards more importantly, tremendous name recognition with consumers.

Throw in multi-screen delivery and operators’ ongoing migration to all-IP – and all that it promises – and it’s clear that “The Cable Show” moniker is just too limiting and doesn’t reflect today’s more dynamic video entertainment environment.  Mind you, cable is clearly first among equals in this new environment, but it’s not alone and for a show that’s traditionally been focused on programming, it’s appropriate for the show’s name to reflect the new reality. 

The most timely example of this new reality is HBO’s announcement that it’s going to start delivering its programming direct-to-consumers via OTT in 2015.  At its launch, HBO’s OTT service will be delivered via its partners with broadband networks (principally cable and telco) to tap the increasing number of subs who pass on programming and only want DSL or cable modem services.

So it’s with great affection we say so long to The Cable Show and hello to The Internet & Television Expo.

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