CTAM Widens Scope of March Digital Confab


The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing has redubbed its annual spring digital conference as The CTAM Digital & Broadband Conference, applying the theme "Ride the Wave Full On" and including new content built around the marketing of broadband Internet access and cable telephony.

The conference is scheduled for March 9 through 11 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

Two main general sessions for the conference reflect both its new direction and its Hollywood location.

In one session, Joe Rooney, senior vice president of marketing at Cox Communications, and William Geppert, president and general manager of Cox's San Diego system, will discuss Cox's bundle success with packaging advance video, high-speed data and telephony.

The other general session will feature Jim Gianopulos, chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, who will discuss video-on-demand and other digital technologies that affect distribution and marketing of movies.

Conference co-chairs are Mark Hess, vice president of digital television at Comcast Corp.'s cable unit, and In Demand senior vice president of marketing Sergei Kuharsky.

Conference sessions will cover high-speed data, telephone, HDTV, digital cable, VOD, DVRs and interactive television.

There are several other departures from past conferences, said CTAM senior vice president of marketing Seth Morrison.

"It's a more compact schedule," he said. The conference will begin Tuesday afternoon and spread two days of sessions throughout three tracks on Wednesday and Thursday.

A lot will be packed into those two days. "CTAM members asked for more coverage of broadband issues, including bandwidth and content, to capitalize on and continue the tremendous progress made in digital video and broadband deployment," Morrison said. "We are seeing more bundling and packaging of digital cable TV and high-speed Internet services, and the numbers tell us that these products are selling well together. It just makes sense to educate members about them both in one venue," Morrison continued.

Panel sessions will include a focus on creative marketing and how the industry communicates new products in video spots. Other sessions will be devoted to HD retail and VOD.

The separate-fee master track sessions on Wednesday have been replaced with tutorials sprinkled throughout the conference. The tutorials, in which an expert in a given area will lead a hands-on session, won't cost extra. Topics will include sales channels, digital rights management and VOD launches.

The conference's wider scope is likely to generate attendance beyond cable's typical marketing base to executives in operations and business development, Morrison said.