For cable technology, 'everything is possible' - until business reality sets in

CHICAGO - If there's one subject that the entire cable industry--programmers, vendors and service providers alike--understand, it's making money and the need to do so. This year's Cable Show, while on the surface about delivering a plethora of content across multiple video receiving platforms, is really about making money.

"The theme of this year's show is 'everything's possible' and, while that's true in terms of technology, it's the business realities that still need to be hammered out," Gabelli Fund portfolio manager Chris Marangi said.

What makes it all possible is broadband and service providers seem to be arriving at the idea of moving content around on broadband-or IP-based platforms--faster than the programmers who have that content.

Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent, tasked with chairing this year's Cable Show, said the industry's service providers are "working closer with our programming partners to figure out how best to provide portable Internet video to our customers."

Still, what happens at tradeshows sometimes stays at tradeshows--even if they're in Chicago--and the service providers and programmers may not yet be at peace with each other on converged multimedia.

"The economic strains and competition we've seen in the last few years have resulted in more contentious conversations," said Denise Denson, executive vice president, content at Viacom (NYSE: VIA). "Technology is moving faster than ever, so it's even more important that operators and programmers work together to stay relevant with consumers."

For more:
- Reuters has this story

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