Posts tagged ‘CTAM Europe’

Cable Europe and CTAM Europe Announce Enhanced Partnership with Global Content Providers #CableCongress

HBO Europe and Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe first to sign up

(Brussels, 11 March 2015) Cable Europe and CTAM Europe are announcing today at Cable Congress in Brussels that they are joining forces to enhance cooperation with the content, programming and production sector. HBO Europe and Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe are the first to sign formal joint membership agreements with the two bodies in a move that reflects increasing convergence between content and distribution platforms and offers Associate Membership of Cable Europe alongside continued engagement in CTAME’s marketing and intelligence activities.

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth commented: “This move puts consumers even more firmly at the heart of all we do by combining cable’s high quality connectivity service and technology superiority with world-class, deeply enriching content. Cable is a truly smart pipe based on future-proof technology that is unmatched by other platforms. That’s why our industry is uniquely positioned to work horizontally with multinational cross-platform providers to set the agenda in an increasingly converged content environment.”

The membership package will enhance co-operation and expertise on strategic issues of mutual interest and concern as well as strengthen both sectors’ respective activities. Together the members will build ‘know-how’ across all aspects of the wider industry in order to advise and learn, strengthen relationships and build on synergies in their external dialogue with mutual stakeholders. The partnerships will also create a new forum for the development of collaboration and best practice in areas such as affiliate marketing.

Stefan Liebig, Vice President Content, Distribution and Sales Northern Europe, Viacom International Media Networks commented: “Closer cooperation between cable and content drives growth for all players in the ecosystem and deliver a better experience for consumers. We’re excited to be teaming up with cable operators and other content players.”

Alek Kutela, Senior Vice President of Marketing at HBO Europe, said;
“We are delighted to partner with Cable Europe and CTAM Europe and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Cable Congress, taking place in Brussels from 11-13 March, will dive deeper into the issues and opportunities raised by convergence, changing content consumption trends and increasing platform competition. To learn more please visit:

For more information, please contact:
Virginia Lee
Cable Europe
Director of Communications
T: +32 2 556 2102

Download PDF format

Interview with Jonathan Sichel

Jonathan-SichelAhead of Cable Congress 2013 we speak to Jonathan Sichel, Managing Director UK/EMEA, Scripps Networks about why the cable industry is important to Scripps…

How is the international expansion effort going and what is driving it?

Really well.  We are relatively new to the international scene, having launched our first network outside the US in 2009.  We have taken advantage of our brand-building foundation to develop our home-grown channels Food Network and Fine Living in over 90 and 60 countries, respectively.  Food Network has become the number one lifestyle channel in the UK, which is an incredible achievement in just three years.  We have expanded our international portfolio through a healthy program licensing business, which allows us to extend our reach with program sales to platforms beyond our own.  We have also been active over the past few years through our international investments and partnerships, such as our stake in UKTV and acquisition of Travel Channel International.  We are continually searching for new opportunities – whether channel launches, acquisitions, or partnerships.

Why is the cable industry important to Scripps?

We are a cable business at our heart, so the cable industry is critical for us, both from a standpoint of distribution and for sustaining our ecosystem that allows us to produce high-quality content for all platforms and tastes.  We know and expect that the cable industry is evolving, and we are evolving our business alongside it as consumers’ interests change and as technology advances.

Content lies at the heart of cable’s business. How has Scripps evolved in its relationship with the cable industry and particular the advent of all things online?

Our content is suited for every platform and lifestyle.  Our steadfast hold on our categories – food, travel, home, and lifestyle – appeal to everyone, no matter what your economic or social style.  I like to think of our content as engaging, entertaining, educational and inspirational.  From the visceral experiences of cooking and travel (tasting it, feeling it and connecting with it via programming) to discovery (a traveller finding something unexpected at a familiar destination or revealing new tastes, recipes and home design), we allow viewers a trusted option, whatever their mood.  We are proud of our original content offerings – long-form for traditional television viewing, short-form entertainment for travellers on the go, and how-to clips for our consumers who want to learn and try new things.


On Day 2 at 14.15 Jonathan will be joining Kyle Young, Senior Partner, Tiny Horse, Dennis Hodges, Founder and CEO, New Perspective Ltd and Todd Brown, Chief Revenue Officer, Yap TV for the panel discussion dedicated to Social TV.

Love and money

Is an appeal to emotion the key to keeping customers?

Love was in the air at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit in Malta last month.

UPC Broadband’s Doron Hacmon kicked off the event by exhorting cable operators that their key focus should be on making their customers fall in love with their service provider. By delivering on emotional touch-points such as “a feeling of home” or “making life simple” cable operators could win the affection and loyalty of their subscribers, rather than their grudging acceptance.

What price this love? Hacmon cited examples of products that could command a premium over substitutes that failed to deliver the same emotional connection: BMWs, he said, were more expensive than Audis, despite being essentially the same vehicle; Starbucks could charge a 50% premium on similar cups of milky coffee because their shops delivered a ‘feeling of home’ to customers. Apple Macs and iPhones could command double the price of functional, but unloved, Dell PCs and HTC phones and so on.

Cable, he suggested, could repeat the trick by appealing less to self-interested calculation (complex bundled offerings at a discounted price) and more to its ability to cater to customers’ emotional needs (staying at home, eco-consciousness, the desire to connect with others via the web and social media).

Other speakers tipped their hats to the love theme at various points throughout the event. Convergys’ Michelle Nowak said that cable operators needed to “look at their consumers as persons” and argued that “the better you serve your customer, the more they like you”. Industry veteran David Hulbert noted that cable operators had never been good at putting themselves in consumers’ shoes and observed that the key to success was to identify (and market to) to two or three things that were most important to those consumers.

So, as Tina Turner asked, what’s love got to do with it? In response to Hacmon’s presentation, those of a Gradgrind-ish persuasion might ask how this ‘love’ can be measured. They may, after musing further, come up with something along the lines of: “love can’t be measured, but churn can”.

If by ‘love’ we actually mean ‘marketing’ (in its totality), this might give a better sense of what cable operators need to do. This means, above all, attention to detail, responding to customers’ complaints swiftly, and delivering services flexibly in a way that meets the needs of those customers. However, cable operators know all this. It’s a version of a refrain (“We need to do more about customer care”) heard at every cable conference since time immemorial. There is nothing new in industry executives and observers noting cable’s less than perfect record in delivering customer care and its historical focus on technology and infrastructure rather than marketing.


TV Everywhere is both cable’s “best defence” and threat

TV Everywhere is cable’s best defence against cord-cutting…

…but could accelerate the unravelling of the relationships that keep the industry going, according to Stuart Sikes, president of Parks Associates. Speaking on a panel session at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit, Sikes said that cable operators were not actively promoting TV Everywhere services to their subscribers. He cited the example of Swisscom, which had bundled TV everywhere with its top-tier offering. This, he said, did not address the danger of lower-tier customers churning.

Parks Associates research showed that about 10% of customers were looking to “cut the cord” in the immediate future, and that very few of these would be retained by the offer of TV Everywhere services. Awareness of such services remained low, Sikes said. However, consumers did see value in TV Everywhere and a significant proportion would be willing to pay for it, which presents both an opportunity and a threat to cable as consumers could turn elsewhere for such services, Sikes added.

While cable operators had good relationships with content providers, the issues involved in delivering services over multiple operating systems to multiple devices with multiple DRMs was challenging. Sikes said that revenue from TV Everywhere would not be significant enough to pay for infrastructure needed to support it. There was also a trend towards the replacement of high-value subscription services with relatively low-value over-the-top TV Everywhere services, he said.

“Pay TV operators may be in for a long period when their return on investment on these services will be negative,” said Sikes.


Liberty Global outlines marketing plan for Horizon

Liberty Global will emphasise the different capabilities of its new Horizon box in different markets, according to Peter Dorr, managing director, strategic marketing, sales and customer care, Europe, Liberty Global.

The operator has created 10 categories of features, allowing marketers in each country in which the box is launched to pick a selection for their particular market, Dorr told attendees at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit yesterday. Liberty Global will use a set of phrases beginning with the word “Imagine” to convey the capabilities of the service to consumers. Phrases like “Imagine…you never have to miss a goal again” will form the basis of the campaign, which will also include the tagline “Everything you love is on TV”. Liberty Global has developed point-of-sale material for use in its stores in the Netherlands and will also run print and internet campaigns. The company will launch its full marketing campaign in the Netherlands in about a week.


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