Things not to miss at Supercomm 2009

Supercomm 2009 is being held this week in Chicago (FierceIPTV's base of editorial operations), and here's a quick look at some keynotes, conference sessions and other event programming you should be sure to check out:

--Wednesday (Oct. 21) keynotes include an appearance by telco sector partner/interloper Tom Rogers, president and CEO of TiVo. DVR services are fast becoming competitive table stakes for TV service providers, and DVR pioneer TiVo is fighting tooth and nail to remain relevant, partnering with some providers and suing others whose offerings it believes have infringed on TiVo DVR patents. Rogers should be worth hearing just for whatever tone he chooses to establish with a largely telco audience.

--The Wednesday keynotes also will feature a show-opening speech from Verizon Communications chief Ivan Seidenberg. He will certainly hype Verizon's ongoing progress as a telco TV provider, though with Verizon's third quarter results (including TV subscriber gains) not coming until next Monday, don't expect him to get too specific about the actual numbers.

--Wednesday afternoon features an ATIS Technology Conference panel at 3:30 p.m. that will be moderated by our own Sean Buckley, editor of FierceTelecom. That session, "Integrating Social Networking into the Television Experience: Fad or Future," tackles one of the most urgent issues facing telco TV providers today.

--Thursday morning (Oct. 22), the busy Mr. Buckley will be hosting a "FierceTelecom Executive Breakfast: Wireless Backhaul - A Wholesale Provider Perspective." There are still seats available for this talent-rich event featuring executives from Qwest Communications, Level 3 Communications and other firms. You can register here. Though it's not an IPTV session, it will provide a good background on bandwidth issues sure to become a factor with the growth of multi-screen TV and video.

--Thursday morning keynote speaker John Stankey, chief of AT&T Operations, will be appearing right about the same time AT&T's third quarter earnings are hitting the wires, so it's possible Stankey will be a bit more forthcoming with actual numbers than Seidenberg. Though, it's just as possible he'll deliver the typical collection of platitudes AT&T executives have uttered at other public engagements--we're not criticizing (yet), just saying it's happened before.

--Another non-IPTV session you should check out, particularly if you like or dislike FierceIPTV's editorial content and need to express your feelings to the editorial man in charge, is the Broadband Wireless in Business panel I'm moderating at 2:15 on Thursday, and featuring executives from TowerStream and Sparkplug. This is of course shameless self-promotion, but the Dan O'Shea Fan Club needs more than just easy charm and word of mouth to hit its membership goals.

--Friday morning (Oct. 23) finds us (finally) back on the subject of TV, as Richard Cotton, executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal, closes out the final day's keynote session. At any other time, the appearance of a TV/movie network executive would seem more like some Hollywood window dressing designed to lure show-goers out of their warm beds and away from their ill-fated attempts to get out of Dodge a bit earlier than planned. It may still be all that, but Cotton's company was rumored recently to be the stalking target of Comcast. That speculation has not resulted in anything real so far, but programming--and the control of and access to programming--will perhaps be the TV service provider sector's hottest issue of debate entering 2010.

--Meanwhile, throughout the three-day event, also be sure to take a peek at some of the IPTV-related sessions offered during the Digital Media & Broadband Entertainment Forum.

--And, at the hours you aren't engaged in these sessions, we hope to see you out on the show floor. Be sure to say hello.