Monday, February 25, 2002

The Cyber Scene in Los Angeles ~ by Wendy Stahl

Do you VOD?** That's what the studio, cable network and MSO mavens were asking in LA this week at the annual CTAM (Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing) Digital Conference at the Century Plaza. As a strategic advisor to several companies in the industry, I filed this special report for The Cyber Scene readers.
The 2 1/2 day conference kicked off with John Sie, industry visionary and Chairman of Starz! warning the cable industry that it needs to organize digital strategies ASAP before losing more subscribers to satellite services.

The buzz in the crowded hallway was that Sie was probably right. Judith McHale, who heads Discovery Communications and Mel Harris, head of Sony Entertainment, shared their vision for expanding content offerings. Studios, content companies and MSOs were all well represented with executives expressing high hopes that VOD and SVOD will be a new revenue source for all.

New technology and service providers like Liberty Livewire and N2Broadband are ready with infrastructure solutions to make the business work. What should the consumer expect? If you're lucky enough to live in a digital cable neighborhood, you should see lots of new programming choices being tested towards the end of this year and rolling into 2003. We can't name names, but imagine the programming you've always wanted to see, when you want it and chances are your favorite network is thinking about trying it.

** VOD: Video On Demand