National Show Returning to San Francisco


It will be "Nawlins" in five weeks and the "City by the Bay" in ’05.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association will hold next year’s National Show in San Francisco April 3-6 at the Moscone Center, NCTA officials said Thursday.

The scheduling of the convention will mark the National Show’s first return to San Francisco in more than one decade: The confab was held at the Moscone Center in 1993.

Senior vice president of communications and public affairs Rob Stoddard said the show’s earlier scheduling -- it has switched back and forth between May and June in recent years -- stemmed from prior commitments at the Moscone Center. "It was booked up for the other periods," he added.

It was unclear what destination the NCTA would turn to going forward for the National Show, but Stoddard doesn’t anticipate a return to San Francisco in 2007.

"We got some feedback from our board of governors to extend our reach to different cities, but I don’t envision the toggling back and forth like we have had the past few years," he said, referring to the trade group’s alternating schedule between Chicago and New Orleans since 1999.

The NCTA expects San Francisco to prove to be an appealing destination for cable conventioneers for many reasons, including the city’s scenic beauty and the proximity of many of its major hotels to the Moscone Center. Membership locations are also a consideration.

"It will be a good draw. It’s relatively close to many of our member companies," Stoddard said. "It’s a lot easier to have a good convention when it’s easy to travel."

During remarks at the close of the Western Show in December, NCTA president Robert Sachs had indicated that the National Show would return to San Francisco in 2005, but he didn't specify the dates or locale.

As far as this year’s show, two prominent cable-industry organizations -- the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers -- will co-sponsor general sessions Sunday, May 2.

"The Broadband Home" -- part of CTAM's Broadband Opportunity Conference, being held in conjunction with the National Show -- will focus on how cable's broadband platform can deliver a full range of new products to the home.

CTAM CEO Char Beales will moderate the panel, and speakers include Charter Communications Inc. executive vice president and chief operating officer Maggie Bellville, ESPN executive VP of affiliate sales and marketing Sean Bratches, Ucentric Systems LLC CEO Michael Collete and Cox Communications Inc. executive VP of operations Patrick Esser.

And the SCTE will co-host "When the Bits Come Marching In: Transition to All Digital," a look at the impact of the transition to digital on cable's infrastructure, solutions for legacy support issues and competitive and regulatory pressures accelerating the transition.

SCTE CEO John Clark will moderate, and panelists include Cox senior VP of engineering and chief technology officer Chris Bowick, Comcast Cable Communications Inc. CTO David Fellows, SeaChange International Inc. corporate VP of strategic planning Yvette Gordon-Kanouff, Time Warner Cable CTO Mike LaJoie and Liberty Media Corp. senior VP and CTO Tony Werner.