With six weeks to go before the National Show, the National Cable &
Telecommunications Association's exhibitor list stands at less than one-half of
last year's total.
The NCTA, which had 313 exhibitors last year, lists about 145 on its Web
The programmers are by and large back, either as traditional exhibitors or in
the special executive suites the trade group dreamed up. But it's the tech
companies that won't return.
There's always a segment of tech companies -- mainly smaller players -- that
are one-time phenomenons at the show anyway.
Then there's the list of companies that have been bought out, including
BarcoNet N.V. (Scientific-Atlanta Inc.), Cadant Inc. (Arris Interactive LLC),
and RiverDelta Networks Inc. and Synchronous Inc. (Motorola Inc.).
But there are other players that, at the moment, don't appear to be returning
to the floor.
They include ADC Telecommunications Inc., Alopa Networks Inc., Aurora
Networks, Cable AML Inc., ClearBand LLC, Communications Equity Associates LLC,
Conexant Systems Inc., Convascent, Convergys Corp., Diva Systems Corp.,
HighSpeed Surfing Inc., In Demand L.L.C., Lucent Technologies, Microtune Inc.,
Music Choice, National Geographic Channel, NDS Group plc, Panasonic Consumer
Electronics, Pirelli Cable & Systems, PowerTV Inc., Samsung Electronics
America Inc., SES Americom, Sigma Designs Inc., Sony Electronics Corp., Terayon
Communication Systems Inc., Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. and Wink
Even industry associations such as Cable in the Classroom, the Cable Center
and Women in Cable & Telecommunications aren't taking floor space.
Some of the vendor companies, while solvent, find that a less costly presence
at the National Show is a consolidation-era requirement. Others, like Lucent,
have been hit hard by the recession and a National Show exhibit is a luxury
Some, like PowerTV, will show up in other booths (S-A's). And some smaller
technology companies -- such as Cable AML, Pirelli and Alopa -- will be
exhibiting at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' Cable-Tec Expo,
which gets more rank-and-file engineers at a less costly tab.
To be fair, even with the NCTA's 313 exhibitors last year, some companies
were listed twice. The true number of unduplicated companies last year -- on the
floor and in hotel suites -- came in at about 275, compared with 145 so far this
But the early NCTA numbers indicated that there's still rough sailing in
cable's convention business.
NCTA spokesman Marc Smith said some of the exhibitor reduction is tied to
consolidation, and he emphasized that some companies that didn't exhibit last
year are returning, such as Starz Encore Group LLC.
Starz Encore spokesman Paul Jacobson said the NCTA's less costly
executive-suite option -- it'll take a 30-foot-by-30-foot suite -- helped to
draw the company back.