Posts tagged ‘mike fries cabel congress’

Cable Congress 2013: Cable is the Place to Be

Clearly, the cable industry has become the place to go if you want an easy life. At least, that’s the impression one could get from listening to Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries at this year’s Cable Congress, and from the news that Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann is set to join Dutch cable player Ziggo when he steps down from his current role at the end of the year.

It may be a facile comparison, but contrast Fries with his counterparts at Telefonica and Vodafone, based on comments they made at Mobile World Congress at the end of February: Telefonica’s Cesar Alierta took OTT players to task for not investing in the value chain, while Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao has long expressed frustration at the level of regulation imposed on telco players in Europe.

Fries, on the other hand, noted that the cable industry is not suffering from these problems, and indeed that they have a good relationship with regulators at the EU level (though national regulators remain a little less enamored of the cable industry, particularly as regards consolidation). More tellingly, after having talked about what a great position the cable industry finds itself in, he said that the next ten years will “present issues we’ve never encountered”. Imagine Alierta or Colao saying that, and sounding like they relish the prospect?

Clearly, Colao has thought of all this, which may have something to do with Vodafone’s German operation looking at buying the country’s top cable player, Kabel Deutschland. This potential merger also highlights another point Fries made at Cable Congress, namely, the growing importance of quad-play.

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Video: Liberty Global to move forwards with mobile plans #CC2013

Mike friesLiberty Global’s plan to roll out a more advanced mobile product in many markets in Europe later this year will allow it to meet demand from a number of its customers for a single bundle from one provider, according to Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global.

“It’s really a complementary product to our core fixed products and allows us to satisfy certain of our consumers’ needs who want a bundled product…from one provider,” he told DTVE in a video interview at Cable Congress last week.

“We’ve had great success in Belgium and Chile [with mobile] and have a million mobile customers today and Virgin Media has three million mobile customers. Together we’ve got a strong experience base to inch our way into the mobile business cost-effectively and productively and give those consumers who want it a broader experience than us.”

Addressing questions about the rationale for Liberty Global’s acquisition of Virgin Media, Fries said there were both revenue and cost synergies between Liberty Global and Virgin Media, as both buy equipment and content from the same companies.

“We’re in the same business, so I think the synergies are potentially large, and the revenue synergies are large too because they can learn from us and we can learn from them,” said Fries. “We’re in the business of building scale and being more efficient with our balance sheet. There are lots of opportunities there. There are benefits of being bigger, including dealing with regulators,” he said.

He said Liberty Global could benefit from Virgin Media’s experience in business-to-business services and from its wireless experience.

Record-Breaking Results for Cable Congress 2013

Record-Breaking Results in 2013

This year Cable Congress welcomed over 850 senior-ranking attendees from 39 countries.

The high quality of attendees reflected a broad cross section of the industry, with 29% of delegates representing cable operators and service providers, 27% equipment and set top box vendors, 13% content providers. View the full attendee breakdown here.

Cable Congress 2013 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 views on the industry and the recently announced merger of the two businesses. Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, told CNBC about plans to enter one of the most competitive and dynamic markets in Europe in an exclusive broadcast interview.

Cable Europe announced fresh data from IHS Screen Digest that showed 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. Guy Bisson, Research Director at IHS Screen Digest, broke down latest figures and leading trends in cable industry during a CNBC interview and explained why cable providers are extremely well-positioned to capitalize as the industry moves towards content provided over the internet.

For the Cable Congress TV’s executive speaker interviews conducted by Digital TV Europe, visit the event website.

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Liberty Global plots cloud Horizon updates, dismisses Netflix threat

CNN Interview with Mike Fries Liberty Global at Cable Congress_SMALLLiberty Global is planning updates to its Horizon platform that include a cloud-based interface, and a better remote, CEO Mike Fries revealed, adding that OTT players like Netflix did not pose a competitive challenge.

Speaking at Cable Congress last week, Fries said that, with Horizon, Liberty Global is aiming to establish a platform “that gives consumers no reason to go anywhere else,” and said that while Netflix has taught the business valuable lessons about how users wanted to access content, its business model was challenged.

Fries said that several new features were coming in the next iteration of Horizon. “One will be a better remote. We have a remote that has a keyboard on the back, for example, so you can easily search for things without poking through a screen.”

Fries also said that Liberty would update Horizon’s user interface, moving it from the set top box to the cloud, allowing Liberty to update and manage it over the web.

“Horizon as a concept is here to stay, but Horizon as a technology will evolve. The user interface will move to the cloud. Network PVR elements of it will be enhanced. Things will get smaller. The UI will evolve as well and get slicker. We’ll bring in new apps and pieces to the puzzle,” said Fries.

However, he would not comment on whether Virgin Media would adopt the Horizon platform or stick to its current TiVo offering, on completion of Liberty’s planned buyout of the UK operator.

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European Cable Leaders Descend on Europe’s Digital Capital

NEWS RELEASE

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 www.cablecongress.com, talk to us @CableEurope on Twitter & follow the discussion live on using #CC2013.

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For more information, please contact:

Gregg Svingen
Cable Europe
Director of Communications
M: +32 476 490 603
E: gregg.svingen@cable-europe.eu
Jessica Fernandez Cable Europe
Communications & Office Manager
T: +32 2 556 2104 E: jessica.fernandez@cable-europe.eu

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). www.cable-europe.eu

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. www.screendigest.com

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