Hendricks Gets Gran Prix at MNI 'Summit'


New York-John Hendricks will receive the "Gran Prix Ground Breaker" award from Multichannel News International, a sister publication to Multichannel News.

The founder, chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications Inc. is being honored for his pioneering work in developing reality-TV-based channels around the world.

"John is the epitome of what our Ground Breaker awards are all about," said Janet Stilson, editor of Multichannel News International and executive editor of Multichannel News. "In pushing forward his own company through innovative new concepts, he has also pushed forward the pay television industry as a whole."

Hendricks and six other Ground Breaker recipients will receive their awards at a special luncheon during MNI's "Summit 3" international conference, held in conjunction with the National Show in New Orleans Sunday, May 7.

The winners will take part in a panel session discussing future developments of pay TV around the globe and some of the toughest issues the industry is currently grappling with.

Other winners include Canadian MSO Le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée in the technology category; British Sky Broadcasting Group plc in operations; National Geographic Channels International for global programmer; India's Zee Telefilms Ltd. in the national programmer category; Eduardo Ruiz, president of The Weather Channel Latin America, for advertising; and Europe's Chello broadband N.V. for marketing.

The summit also includes panel sessions on two of the hottest topics on the international front.

A "New Revenue Streams" session will explore international advances in cable telephony, video-on-demand, Internet services and interactivity. Panelists include James Ackerman, CEO of the BSkyB and British Telecommunications plc-led Open; Brent Harman, managing director of Britain's Flextech plc; Jay Switzer, senior vice president and general manager of Canada's ChumCity International; Jan Steenkamp, CEO of OpenTV Inc.; Yasushige Nishimura, chairman of Japan's Jupiter Programming Co. Ltd. and executive advisor of Jupiter Telecommunications Co. Ltd.; and Ricky Rand, CEO of VOD service FutureTV.

Another session explores the changing dynamics in Latin America between operators and programmers. Speakers include representatives of two of the most shop-happy cable investors in the region: JoséAntonio Ríos, president of Spain's Telefónica Media, and Paul Salvodelli, a principal in investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Latin America.

Also participating are: Simon Kenny, executive vice president, broadcasting, Walt Disney Television International Latin America; Ahmad Khamsi, president and CEO of one of Venezuela's largest MSOs, SuperCable; and Mary Ann Halford, senior vice president and general manager of Canal Fox and Fox Kids Latin America.

For information about the International Pay TV Summit, contact Sandy Friedman at 212-463-6740 or safriedman-@cahners.com.