Posts tagged ‘social TV’

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.

What’s new for Cable Congress 2013?

Brand-New Features and Discussion Points for 2013

If you have attended Cable Congress in the past, you know what to expect: three days of strategy-rich presentations, panel sessions and interactive debate, the most notable thought-leaders in the industry sharing their opinions and predictions; plus the best networking opportunity of the year with access to other international key decision-makers across the industry.

In 2013, the Cable Congress experience gets even better as we bring new features and more discussion points to the programme. Here’s an exclusive sneak peak of the added twists to your delegate package:

Explore the latest experiences and pioneering approaches on growth-driven strategies, industry-burning issues and business opportunities from some of the most influential women in the C–Suite who represent leading cable companies.

A unique opportunity to witness an exclusive live interview with a world-renowned cable industry leader. Who could it be..?  What will we ask?

Technological progress underpins cable’s market advantage in providing a premium network to its customers who demand premium content. Cable’s ability to evolve ahead of market demand is built on DOCSIS, a technology standard which is currently undergoing an exciting evolution.

Social TV – one of the hottest aspects of today’s industry – is an emerging topic at Cable Congress. More and more content owners and advertisers are embracing the benefits to be gained from social TV engagement but there is so much more to learn. Discover how social TV viewing is already changing the television experience.

Home networks enabled by WiFi provide customers with a hands-on understanding of how vital wireless connections to high performance networks are. Come to learn more about the continued spread of WiFi into coffee shops, small and large businesses and even into public transport during the Olympics. Discussions on this wireless technology are a reminder of how cable has become an indispensable means of connectivity.

Facts & Figures about Cable Congress
Cable Congress is recognised as the leading event dedicated to the cable and media industries in Europe. It’s the annual opportunity for decision makers to connect and debate the latest developments in the fields of strategy, investment, technology, marketing, content and regulation.

With unrivalled speakers and attendance, Cable Congress is big on interactivity and networking opportunities and most of all it’s big on decision-making attendees. 850+ participants from over 35 countries attended in 2012, of which more than 50% were VP executives and above, and 19% from the C-Suite.

For more information, please visit

IBC 2012: Taking care of business – Part 2

TeliaSonera’s Smart TV takeover
Informa has long mooted the benefits of operator and Smart TV partnerships, and at IBC, TeliaSonera and Samsung showcased what they described as the first fully-fledged IPTV service to launch on a Smart TV.

Fully-fledged was perhaps pushing it a little but the service did offer most of the core features of a Pay TV service, including a network DVR for some (but, for rights reasons, not all) channels. One key feature is the ability, after the TeliaSonera app is downloaded to the TV, for consumers to select the TeliaSonera interface as the default UI for the TV. It even appears as an option in the list of inputs on the device, alongside HDMI, USB, et al. This is a win for everyone. It’s much easier for consumers, and operators, who have always expressed concerned about appearing next to their competitors on Smart TVs, will be delighted. It’s also an intriguing sign of Samsung’s strategy in the area. Smart TV manufacturers are heavily criticised for trying to over-exert their own influence on the way users use those devices, so Samsung’s ceding of this territory is very telling.

Social TV – the post-Zeebox wave
All vendors were keen to share their visions for how best to create content and experiences for the companion screen. While it’s easy to be cynical about bandwagon-jumping, Zeebox’s approach is only one of many, and there are lot of other ways the second screen can be used.


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