Scoping the TelcoTV keynotes

There are several keynotes and conference sessions to look forward to at TelcoTV 2008, but the two sessions just about everybody will be talking about are the Day One keynotes by Dan York, executive vice president of content at AT&T, and John Harrobin, senior vice president of marketing and digital media at Verizon Communications.

They are two executives with very non-traditional telco titles, and both will talk about how their companies are breaking the traditional mold for both the telcos and TV. York's speech is titled "Meeting the Content Demands of Consumers," and Harrobin's is headlined "Three Screen Convergence: Today's Reality."

York, a former HBO executive, has a big job that only seems to keep getting bigger, now encompassing content for all AT&T platforms, including wireless. his ability to move AT&T aggressively into the content world will be closely watched as AT&T also is trying to transform its whole corporate structure into a highly integrated wireless powerhouse that also owns a wireline network. Harrobin comes into his role from Verizon Wireless, and has a background heavy in marketing, sales and advertising.

Both telcos are coming off stronger-than-expected third quarter TV subscriber growth, but as Verizon passes 1.6 million subscribers and AT&T nears 1 million, the time has come for telco TV services to up their cool-quotient. We're anxious to here how both of them plan to keep early telco TV adopters engaged, and how companies that were known mostly for voice and data just a few years ago can stay on top of the TV revolution.