(Amsterdam, 12 March) Executives from across the cable industry called for deeper partnerships with content players, continued collaboration on technology standards and greater convergence of products and services on Day 1 of Cable Europe’s 2014 Cable Congress. With consolidation of the still fragmented cable marketplace ongoing, they also advocated for “de-stressing” the regulatory environment to better stimulate Europe’s digital economy.

“Marriage with content is our future,” according to Michael Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, citing the vast majority of consumers migrating to a digital experience and demanding more and more content on multiple screens and on-demand. “We’re in the business of connectivity first and foremost – that includes connecting people to great content and providing functionality to enhance the viewing experience.”

Content players echoed the need for continued collaboration, highlighting how cable’s delivery of breakthrough advances in digital technology – interactive user-interfaces and channel guides, VOD and DVR – has profoundly changed the way content is both consumed and created. “The convergence of these technological developments has changed the viewer mindset, putting you in control to watch on your own schedule and absorb more from what you see,” said keynote speaker and AMC Networks President & CEO Josh Sapan. “This combination has also given birth to a new brand of scripted drama, influencing what is written, produced and directed, and changing the pace and style of the dramatic world. Good stories and new technology are the foundation for the success of TV.”

Cable is expected to continue to play a crucial role in this ongoing content shift as network capacity, bundling and service convergence increases. According to Manuel Cubero, COO of Kabel Deutschland, operators need to focus on bundling high-value services and maintaining quality networks, but continued innovation and investment is key. “The moment you think you’re good then you’ve lost; being top-notch is a continuous fight.”

Cable Congress 2014 will continue tomorrow and Friday. To keep up with the conversation, please visit www.cablecongress.com, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow all of the discussion live using #cablecongress.

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