Posts tagged ‘Matthias Kurth’

EUROPE, A LEADER NOT A LAGGARD by Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman, Cable Europe #CableCongress2015

Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman, Cable Europe

Matthias Kurth,
Executive Chairman,
Cable Europe

Since I joined Cable Europe in 2012 I’ve become accustomed to a particular feeling that the New Year brings. I’m not referring to the promise of change and betterment (though I have made a few of my own resolutions for 2015), but of the excitement and anticipation that builds in the run up to Cable Congress.

Reasons always abound for why Cable Congress is the must-attend event for the industry. In the last few years the cable sector has been in a permanent state of change. Competition with telecommunication companies, infrastructure carriers and content providers has driven a constant reshaping of business models.  We’re seeing M&A activity and continued investor appetite on one side and fast changes in technology and value creation strategies on the other. It’s an exciting mix. Cable Congress is the only place where leading players come together to discuss these trends, how to deal with emerging challenges and how to create new opportunities.

“We’re seeing M&A activity and continued investor appetite on one side and fast changes in technology and value creation strategies on the other.”

I’m particularly excited about Congress coming back to Brussels following a year that has brought many changes to the EU’s political landscape and a strong commitment by the new European Commission to the digital economy. With many policymakers from the European Commission and the European Parliament expected to be in attendance, I look forward to hearing more about plans to realise the Digital Single Market in Europe. Critically though, the digital agenda and further investment in high speed broadband can only be enhanced if we all have trust in a stable and forward-looking policy framework. To do this, we need balanced policy discussions focused on finding smart solutions, which we will kick off with dialogue at the Congress.

“We need balanced policy discussions focused on finding smart solutions.”

While we often hear in Europe that we are playing catch up with the US in the technology space, when I compare the investment climate in Europe with the United States, I am actually rather optimistic about some of the regulatory trends. Take net neutrality. Whereas President Obama has indicated he wants to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Telecommunications act that stems from the 1930s, I see early indicators of a markedly more rational and fruitful solution in Europe. The European Commission, along with an increasing number of national governments, is convinced there is a win-win solution to be had between upgrading internet access and driving the development of innovative, specialised services such as videoconferencing, telemedicine and M2M communications. This contrasts starkly with President Obama’s message, which came as a shock to investors, and leads to uncertainty about the investment environment in the US.

“I believe Europeans might have the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to investment in broadband and digital infrastructure.”

In fact, I believe Europeans might have the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to investment in broadband and digital infrastructure. While every investor will think carefully about the legal and regulatory infrastructure it interacts with, it is clear that better broadband and private investment can form a cornerstone of Europe’s digital agenda. To be sure, regulation played an important role in opening up former government monopolies, but the landscape has changed dramatically in telecommunication over the last 15 years. A modern way of regulation has to reflect that and leave more and more ground to market forces and innovation. Europe is moving in the right direction.


Cable Congress will be taking place in Brussels from 11-13 March 2015, The SQUARE, Brussels. For more information and to register, please click here.

Meet the Speaker: Matthias Kurth of Cable Europe

Meet the speaker: Matthias Kurth of Cable Europe

Matthias KurthMatthias Kurth joined Cable Europe in October 2012 as Executive Chairman. Mr. Kurth sits on Cable Europe’s Executive Committee which has oversight of the cable industry’s main representational duties in Europe. Matthias lastly held the position of President of the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), the authority for telecommunications, postal, energy and railway markets in Germany, including frequency management and digital signature. He played an instrumental role in the liberalization of the German energy market and left behind notable achievements with respect to competition in the telecommunications market. Matthias also served as Chairman of the European Regulators Group (ERG) in 2009 to increase regulatory cooperation at the EU level.

Matthias will be speaking at the Cable Congress 2014 event taking place in Amsterdam on 12-14 March 2014. For more information on how to register, please click here.

In your view, what were some of the biggest highlights for the industry since we last gathered for Cable Congress in London?

Matthias Kurth: In 2013 cable really showed what its networks could do for consumers in Europe. Cable’s massive investment over the years in broadband infrastructure has given operators a huge technology advantage that is now delivering on its potential. The upgrade of cable broadband speeds in commercial offers in Europe to 200 Mbps and even 500 Mbps in some markets is one key example. By combining its speed advantage with new service platforms and the inclusion of over the top, cable is affirming that it delivers the best value to the European consumer.

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges that should be driving cable’s priorities in 2014?

MK: This is a dynamic industry with an incredibly high level of competition between legacy players and new entrants, which is pushing the entire industry to keep up the pace of innovation and stay close to the customer. Fulfilling the customer’s growing and evolving needs and simplifying the use of platforms and services will remain a challenging factor for cable. If cable makes full use of the positive relationships it has with its clients, the industry will have the best, customer-focused perspectives and therefore be best positioned to keep growing in this highly competitive market.

2013 was a year of deal-making. What are the prospects for further consolidation and how could this stimulate industry growth?

MK: It’s true that there were a number of notable deals announced in 2013. Yet Europe’s cable landscape remains highly fragmented. Consolidation in such a disjointed market offers a chance to make better use of economies of scale and generates efficiencies so that more can be invested in infrastructure, products and services for end-users. Premium content – which is already experiencing high demand from customers – is getting more and more expensive, and carriers need a good market position for negotiations.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes started a debate last year about the “Connected Continent” and creating a single market for broadband providers. What role does cable play in connecting Europe?

MK: When it comes to high speed broadband over 30 Mbps, cable has already connected the content better than other carriers. As an important investor in broadband infrastructure, we support the Commission in advocating for a more investment-friendly approach in the broadband market. Still, some topics in the proposals are controversial and the outcome is not yet clear.

Cable Congress in 2014 will focus on cable’s flourishing future – in your view what does that future look like and what will it take to get there?

MK: To predict the future is always difficult. What is for certain is that our industry has to face constant and dynamic change. If we learned the right lessons from the past – that we have to be ahead of our competitors when it comes to innovation and investment, then we are well prepared for the future.

European Cable to Bring Olympic Spirit to Cable Congress in Amsterdam

(Brussels, 13 February) – Citius, Altius, Fortius, Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger, has long been the motto to describe the great feats of athleticism seen at the Olympic Games. With the Winter Olympics now underway in Sochi, and ahead of its annual flagship gathering, Cable Europe, the trade association for the European cable industry, is proud to celebrate its role in driving faster speeds, access to higher-quality content and services, and a stronger competitive environment for European consumers.

With 69% of attendees at C-level, Director and Board Level, Cable Europe’s Cable Congress, taking place in Amsterdam from 12-14 March, is recognised as the leading conference dedicated to the cable and media industries in Europe. Yet the Netherlands won’t have to wait until Cable Congress to experience some of the best the industry has to offer – while Dutch ice skate champions Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst, Michel Mulder and Stefan Groothuis win gold after gold, cable’s multi-screen products are bringing all of the Olympic excitement to fans whenever and wherever they want it.

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth commented: “Like Olympic athletes, cable is always looking for an edge on the competition. Following years of investment in fibre-rich high speed networks, cable operators turned a long-standing speed advantage into a major driver of growth for its core product bundle – digital television, internet and telephony. Cable is now, as the established leader in connectivity, embracing its role in delivering high-quality programming to consumers on demand and on multiple screens. In Amsterdam, we’ll hear more about cable’s enviable position as the bridge between entertainment and consumers, and how content and competition are driving growth and strategic change in the years to come.”

The 2014 Cable Congress programme will feature the launch of new industry data and trends, including new statistics from IHS Screen Digest, the presentation of the Cable Europe awards recognizing industry innovation and achievement, and an impressive line-up of executives across cable, content, technology and new media. Highlights include:

  • BBC World News Presenter Babita Sharma as Master of Ceremonies
  • Keynote speech by Josh Sapan, President & CEO of AMC Networks
  • CEO panels featuring Michael Fries, Liberty Global, Rosalia Portela, ONO, Andrew Barron, Com Hem, Carsten Dilling, TDC, Rene Obermann, Ziggo, and Manuel Cubero, Kabel Deutschland
  • Views on technology from leading CTOs Paul Hendriks, Ziggo, Balan Nair, Liberty Global, and Lorenz Glatz, Kabel Deutschland

New content, programme updates and interviews are being added regularly to

Statement on the Single Market #cable @cableeurope

A Single Market as a Platform to Boost Investments in Networks and First Class Broadband Experience in Europe

European Heads of States have given their green light this week for EU action in support of the digital economy to create an integrated single digital and telecoms market. It is the first time that the digital economy has been brought to the highest level of European decision making and this is applauded by Cable Europe.

To support a booming European digital economy there is a need for a continuous flow of investments in to underlying broadband infrastructure. A number of network providers have emerged over the last 15 years competing for customers and supplying broadband connectivity to the benefit of the whole economy at large.

“We are committed investors in our networks that we upgrade in anticipation of our customers’ needs. Cable companies have recently launched 500 Mbps services and further upgrades of the networks to deliver ultra fast speeds are yet to come, pushing competitors to react.  The continued growth of 8.4% in cable broadband subscribers tells us that the demand for connectivity is healthy – and on an upward growth trajectory” says Cable Europe Chairman Matthias Kurth.


Kurth: European cable supports private investment

The cable industry is ideal for private investment and this should be encouraged by a good regulatory strategy, according to Matthias Kurth, executive chairman and member of the executive committee at Cable Europe.

matthias kurth
Speaking at the opening panel discussion of PIKE 2013, discussing the European Digital Agenda Digital Dividend, Kurth added that although the cable industry has made a huge contribution to bringing broadband to Europe, a different situation existed in each of the 28 EU markets.

Some, such as Benelux and Denmark, could be described as perfect, while others, including Greece and Italy, did not even have any cable infrastructure.

Commenting on white spots and the potential future build programmes for cable networks, he said that while it would be possible for cable networks to widen their coverage, a technically neutral solution was required.

He cited an interesting example in Germany, where providers of LTE services have been required to provide coverage in rural areas before they reach urban parts of the country.

Jerzy Straszewski, the president of the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communications (PIKE), meanwhile said that Polish cable operators have undertaken most investment from their own funds, typically allocating 30% of revenues.

Of 4.5 million cable subscribers in the country, 50% had access to broadband services, with download speeds of 30 Mbps and above now the norm.

Read more on the Broadband TV News website.

Watch the Official Opening of Cable Congress 2013

Cable Industry Looks Forward as 2013 Cable Congress Concludes On High Note


Cable Industry Looks Forward as 2013 Cable Congress Concludes On High Note

(Brussels, 8 March) After three days of debate and discussion on the future of the cable industry, Cable Congress 2013 concluded yesterday in London by sending a strong signal to operators and partners, competitors, investors, policymakers, regulators and consumers that the best is yet to come.

This year’s Cable Congress came at a time of great activity within the sector and in a city where technology, media and entertainment are leading globally. Both, Michael T. Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, and Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media appeared at the event to talk about their respective views on the industry and the recently announced merger of the two businesses. The week began by celebrating another strong year for cable at year-end 2012, with continued strong growth in the core lines of business and an unmistakable tipping point into the digital interactive television universe. As Europe experiences an economic downturn, the health of the industry was a frequently mentioned bright spot, as operators in even the hardest hit countries such as ONO in Spain and ZON in Portugal continue to grow and invest.

Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, commented: “The key takeaway is that our markets are irresistibly moving to greater and greater convergence. Cable’s drive to innovate, change and adapt, to consolidate will create significant value to society and a rich and rewarding experience to the consumer. Regulators must recognize this and take a forward-looking analysis of our fast-moving industry. The European communications industry remains fragmented and will need more transnational and national mergers and acquisitions to stand its ground.”


Continued Investment Drives 5.5% Top-line Cable Growth, Adds Customers


Continued Investment Drives 5.5% Top-line Cable Growth, Adds Customers

Tipping point in Digital switchover helps drive European revenues to €20.6bn YE2012 as cable now counts 27mn high speed broadband users, 30.5mn Digital TV subscribers

(London, 5 March) Meeting today at Cable Congress 2013 in London, Cable Europe, the association bringing together Europe’s leading cable companies, is announcing fresh data from IHS Screen Digest that shows 5.5% top-line revenue growth across Europe, representing nearly €1bn in new revenues for 2012. The upward trend is explained by a shift towards digital for customers increasingly relying on the high speed fibre-rich broadband connections for which cable is known as well as the trend of increasingly accessing video content over cable’s high performance telecom networks.

“What we’re seeing this year is continued growth on the revenue side which gives us almost a billion reasons to be encouraged, but the really interesting story is why,” commented Cable Europe President, Manuel Kohnstamm. “In a market where you hear a lot about the over-the-top threat, the data shows that cable is embracing the power of the platform to deliver content how and when people want it. Stay close to the consumer, look at investment as a means to innovate and grow – this thinking is helping us find our stride as a viable competitor to connect Europe. The 8.4% growth in broadband subscribers also tells us a lot about Europe’s bright, connected future.”

Key YE2012 figures from new IHS Screen Digest analysis include:

  • Revenues for cable’s grew 5.5% to €20.6bn, nearly a €1bn increase in total cable revenues
  • Triple-play growth across different categories of services:

o Digital TV +12% revenue growth
o Internet +6.5% revenue growth
o Cable telephony +5.3% revenue growth

  • Video on Demand revenue jumped by 24%
  • European broadband subscribers jumped from 25 mn in 2011 to over 27 mn in 2012 – that is 8.4% growth towards what EU leaders call the Digital Agenda
  • Digital TV subscribers rose 9.2% to 30.5mn (28mn in 2011)
  • (more…)

European Cable Leaders Descend on Europe’s Digital Capital


European Cable Leaders Descend on Europe’s Digital Capital
Industry expected to report strong top-line & subscriber growth figures for 2012

(Brussels, 4 March) With one day left until Cable Congress 2013 kicks off the European cable industry’s flagship annual event, anticipation is peaking in London where leaders across the cable, content, tech and new media space convene to talk strategy, share opinions and make predictions on the future of the industry.

Cable Congress, taking place on 5-7 March, will start with the opening news briefing which will release new year-end pan-European cable industry data from IHS Screen Digest. Offering a preview of what is to come, Cable Europe, the trade association for the European cable industry, today indicated the new YE2012 European cable figures will show:

  • Positive revenue and new customer growth
  • Strong broadband and telephony performances
  • Continued growth in Digital TV and advanced services like Video on Demand

Comprehensive statistics on growth across cable’s products will be unveiled during the event.

Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, said, “Cable’s continued and steady uptick in new customers is a credit to the industry’s investments in innovation to bring new products, faster speeds and better services to more people across Europe. With so much attention on the industry right now and heightened excitement for cable’s prospects, there’s no better place or time to hear from top decision-makers. It’s an often heard refrain, but this year’s Cable Congress truly promises to be our best ever.”

Cable Congress 2013 features a spectacular line-up. Highlights include:

  • CEO appearances by Liberty Global’s Mike Fries, Virgin Media’s Neil Berkett and ONO’s Rosalia Portela
  • An unmissable meeting of the minds with international CTOs from Comcast (Tony Werner), Kabel Deutschland (Lorenz Glatz), Liberty Global (Balan Nair), Time Warner Cable (Michael LaJoie) and Virgin Media (Dan Hennessy)
  • Executives representing the world’s premier content players, featuring Catherine Powell, The Walt Disney Company EMEA, Jonathan Sichel, Scripps Network Interactive, and Bruce Tuchman, AMC/Sundance Channel, AMC Networks
  • The second annual Cable Europe Awards, honouring contributions from individuals and companies helping to move the European cable industry forward

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth said: “Cable Congress always puts the industry’s most important topics front and centre. Whether focused on keeping pace with consumers’ connectivity and content needs, investing in the right technologies to maintain leading networks, or securing financing for future growth, cable’s best and brightest will deliver observations and insights that you can’t get anywhere else.”

For the latest news on Cable Congress 2013, please visit, talk to us @CableEurope on Twitter & follow the discussion live on using #CC2013.


For more information, please contact:

Gregg Svingen
Cable Europe
Director of Communications
M: +32 476 490 603
Jessica Fernandez Cable Europe
Communications & Office Manager
T: +32 2 556 2104 E:

About Cable Europe
Cable Europe is a trade association that groups all leading broadband cable TV operators and their national associations throughout Europe. The aim of Cable Europe is to promote and defend the industry’s policies and business interests at European and international levels, and to foster cooperation among its members. The European cable TV industry services more than 94 million broadband, TV and telephony subscriptions throughout the EU 27 (around 70 million households).

About IHS Screen Digest
IHS Screen Digest is the pre-eminent firm of industry analysts covering global media markets. Headquartered in London, with offices in New York and Monterey, California, we employ a team of 40 specialist analysts covering film, television, broadband, mobile, cinema, home entertainment and gaming. Our online services and reports provide the information and analysis that hundreds of media companies worldwide base their decisions on.

Invitation from Matthias Kurth

Matthias Kurth Executive Chairman Cable Europe at Cable Congress - NEWDear Friends,

It is my great pleasure this year to welcome you to Cable Congress 2013 in London, Europe’s undisputed Digital Capital while we hold our flagship event in one of the most connected cities in the world. Last year I was a guest at Cable Congress while this year I welcome you as one of the hosts – change, one of the givens in industry that keeps us all on our toes.

The cable industry is ultimately a consumer driven business and the European consumer is sophisticated, connected and certainly not interested in waiting around for content. Our job is to deliver on that consumer experience when they want it, where they want it and how they want it. The fibre-rich high speed networks that we’re known for play an important if not sometimes invisible role in this regard.

You can be sure that our spectacular line-up of CEO interviews will touch on all of the business strategies built around staying a step ahead of consumer needs. You will also have an unmissable meeting of the minds as CTOs make a transatlantic bridge connecting the technology to the consumer. And it won’t surprise you to see how much our business is content-driven. We are proud of our premium content and to demonstrate this, you will be treated the premier of a series from a very big player in the content market.

Have a great time, do be sure to take advantage of the best networking date on the calendar and remember why you’re here: Cable is that unique crossroads of technology and content that keeps the consumers entertained, informed and connected – just like this year’s Cable Congress.

Best regards,

Matthias Kurth
Executive Chairman
Cable Europe

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