New Orleans -- The Cable Show convention ended Tuesday night with a “Battle of the Bands” fundraiser that raised a total of about $300,000 that will go to charitable efforts to assist in the recovery of New Orleans, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said.
The American Idol-style clash of rock bands assembled by cable operators, programmers and technology vendors generated the cash through donations, items sold at auction, corporate sponsorships and other means, such as ticket and T-shirt sales.
Attendees voted for their favorites via text message. The biggest vote-getter was a band called Xpanded Bandwidth, sponsored by Cox Communications, the local operator in New Orleans, and featuring Cox employees. They included senior vice president of programming Bob Wilson, who received some plugs for the band at the end of a panel session he participated in at The Cable Show Tuesday afternoon.
The Paul Allen Band, starring the Charter Communications chairman (who wowed the crowd with his rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze), got the second-most votes, followed by a band with Charter employees called The Frontline. More information about the event can be found here.
The money from the bands event—and other donations made to the umbrella effort called CableCares—will be dispersed by the non-profit organization The Cable Hope Fund at a later date.
During the convention, the CableCares effort also included volunteer projects such as building playgrounds at local schools, and books were collected to help re-stock libraries. NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow said more than 13,000 books were collected and were displayed on the exhibition floor of the Morial convention center—a display McSlarrow said NCTA dubbed ‘Book Mountain.’
NCTA officials said the convention (May 18-20) drew nearly 14,000 attendees and about 350 exhibitors. The convention attracted about 15,000 to Las Vegas in 2007. When the convention was in New Orleans in 2000, it drew about 32,000.
For more news from NCTA's The Cable Show '08, click here.