|Thursday, January 6
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session A- DH7:
Digital Cable and Satellite Television Strategies: Channel Launches, SVOD-VOD, HDTV, International and Interactive
With DTV having passed the threshold of consumer acceptance, reaching over 40 million homes, the consumer is now first experiencing what the future of cable and satellite programming is all about. A decade ago, industry leaders speculated on the future and market value of the 500 channel universe and now it is here. With DTV, HDTV and broadband rolling out in communities across the country, the opportunity to innovate, to offer unique and exciting new channels and subscription and VOD packages will be the ongoing challenge for the industry. The entire universe of basic and pay services will be up for grabs in the coming five years. The combination of new technologies, new services, new partnerships, content innovation, aggressive marketing, not to mention new investment will remake the landscape of home entertainment.
Will Kreth, Director, Interactive Services, Time Warner Cable
Bryan Burns, VP Strategic Business Planning and Development, ESPN
Gary Traver, Chief Operating Officer, Comcast Media Center,
Will Griffin, president and COO, Simmons Lathan Media Group (SLMG)
Kevin Corcoran, President, The Anime Network
Brad Siegel, Vice Chairman, Gospel Music Channel
Aditya Kishore, Media & Entertainment Strategies, The Yankee Group, Moderator
Will Kreth, Director, Interactive Services, Time Warner Cable: For the past 15+ years, Will Kreth has worked to bring rich and rewarding media experiences to customers at companies such as Apple Computers Multimedia Lab, P.F. Magic (an early Phillips CD-i interactive television developer), Wired Magazine, HotWired.com, Prodigy Services Corporation, and Road Runner. In 2000, Mr. Kreth founded Lifeset.com - a media personalization service for mobile wireless and broadband devices. Currently, Mr. Kreth is the Director of Interactive Services for Time Warner Cables Austin division, working on integrating and deploying advanced interactive services and video on demand applications for digital cable television and broadband customers. A frequent speaker at industry events, Mr. Kreth is a member of ACM and CTAM.
Will Griffin, President and COO of Simmons Lathan Media Group, developed and implemented the company's business strategy and now oversees all aspects of SLMG. Griffin has also served as COO of Urban Entertainment and as GM and EVP of eUniverse Network where, in two quarters, he developed and implemented the turnaround strategy that led to profitability for the industry's largest digital entertainment company. While Director of the eDirect initiative at News Corporation/Fox Entertainment Group, Griffin worked under Fox President and COO, Peter Chernin. Griffin also worked In the Entertainment and Media Practice Group of McKinsey & Company and in 1998 earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Harvard Law School, Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and completed Entrepreneurship Curriculum at Harvard Business School.
Bryan Burns, VP Strategic Business Planning and Development, ESPN: Bryan Burns was named vice president, strategic business planning and development in April 2000. With ESPN since 1996, he most recently served as vice president, distribution development. During his time with ESPN, Burns has been responsible for the expansion of ESPN's pay per view product to include ESPN FULL COURT for college basketball, ESPN Game Plan for college football, and MLS/ESPN Shootout for Major League Soccer. He also designed and launched ESPN NOW and ESPN EXTRA, the company's channels, which are designed for digital cable and the expanded capacity of Direct Broadcast Satellite carriers. Burns also was responsible for ESPN's special markets efforts to non-residential distributors such as commercial establishments and hotels. Burns is currently serving as the head of ESPN HD, the company's new channel for high definition television, which launched in the spring of 2003. He is additionally responsible for a variety of new business evaluations and implementations, including ESPN's consideration of additional new networks and video products. Burns came to ESPN from The Paragon Alliance, a consulting firm he founded in 1992, after sixteen years in professional sports team management. His MLB career included seven years as Senior Vice President of Major League Baseball, where his responsibilities included handling MLB's worldwide television operations and overseeing special events such as the World Series, League Championship Series, and the All Star Game. Burns also served as Director of Marketing and Broadcasting for the Kansas City Royals from 1974-1983. At Comsat Video Enterprises from 1990-1992, Burns oversaw negotiations for the major sporting and special events included in the company's Satellite Cinema and On Command Video pay-per-view services. Burns is a graduate of Central Missouri State University, where he received a B.S. in Communications.
Gary Traver is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Comcast Media Center. In this position, Traver is responsible for overall management of the CMC business. Traver, a 20-year broadcasting veteran, also served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of CMC since its acquisition by Comcast in the Fall of 2002. Prior to the acquisition, he was Senior Vice President of Video Services for CMC, formerly AT&T Digital Media Centers, since joining the company in 1999. Traver was Vice President of Broadcast and Network Operations for PRIMESTAR before joining AT&T Digital Media Centers. In that role, he was responsible for creation, operation and management of a direct broadcast satellite network providing video, audio, and data services for more than 2.3 million customers. While at PRIMESTAR, he directed company efforts to introduce the world's first-fully digital consumer service. His team received an EMMY® award for his pioneering work in digital television. Traver has been in the broadcast industry since 1983. In addition to his PRIMESTAR post, he has held senior-level assignments in the development of satellite television with Skyband, Inc., and Comsat Satellite Television. He has expertise in software engineering, broadcast network operations, conditional access, encryption and information technology. He holds a B.S. in Social Sciences and an A.S. in Accounting from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville, Mo., and graduated cum laude. Traver
Kevin G. Corcoran, President, Anime Network & Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Financial Officer, A.D. Vision, Inc. (parent company of Anime Network): As President of Anime Network, a position he assumed in August 2003 with the launch of the network, Corcoran is charged with the overall management of the network, and is thoroughly involved in the network's day-to-day operations, finance, carriage commitments and business development. Corcoran also oversees the marketing and promotions for the network and contributes to the network's long-term programming strategy. In addition to his role as President of Anime Network, Corcoran also serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer for A.D. Vision, Inc., parent company of Anime Network. In this capacity, Corcoran has assisted company founder, President and CEO, John Ledford in expanding the market share of A.D.Vision's ADV Films, the leading producer-distributor of Japanese animation in North America, which is also developing a leadership position in the UK marketplace. Corcoran first joined A.D. Vision, Inc. in October 2000 as Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the company's finances and accounting staff. Raised in Texas, Corcoran graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. degree in History with an emphasis in ancient Ireland and medieval Europe and also earned his J.D. degree from the University. Between graduating law school and taking his first job as a trial attorney, Corcoran founded a mail order computer company, Cork Computers, in early 1990. In October of 1991, he took a trial lawyer position with the Houston law firm of Phillips and Akers and was named as a Director of the firm in 1998. That same year, Corcoran threw his hat into the political arena, running for a seat as Judge in Galveston County. Shortly after his electoral defeat, he accepted an invitation to practice plaintiff law with Houston-based Stevenson and Ammons. Corcoran resides in Houston, Texas. He recently joined the board of Theatre Under The Stars (TUTTS), the well-established theater company that is a mainstay of the arts in Houston.
Brad Siegel, Vice Chairman, Gospel Music Channel: Mr. Siegel most recently was president of Turner Broadcastings entertainment networks, where he was responsible for all aspects of the business including programming, marketing, and day-to-day operations of TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television (TNT), Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner South and Boomerang. Turner Studios, as well as Turner Entertainment Networks Broadcast Operations center and staff, also came under Mr. Siegels administration. Previously, Mr. Siegel served as president and general manager of TNT and president of TCM. During his tenure, both of the entertainment networks experienced all-time high ratings and key demographic growth while their profits doubled. Gospel Music Channel is the new, advertiser-supported cable network dedicated to the rich history and contemporary sounds of gospel music, its many genres and artists. Launched in October 2004, the networks program schedule features music video blocks, artists biographies, music specials and live concerts highlighting all styles and genres of gospel music targeted to all age groups and demographics. Alpine Equity Partners L.P. and Constellation Ventures, a Bear Stearns Asset Management Venture Capital Fund, are financing the Gospel Music Channel.
Aditya Kishore is an analyst for the Yankee Groups Media and Entertainment Strategies Planning Service. His responsibilities include research and analysis for the converging media and entertainment products and services among consumers. Mr. Kishore leads The Yankee Groups coverage of video services delivered via cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcast, and includes emerging services such as video-on-demand (VOD), personal video recorders (PVR), enhanced and interactive television, digital broadcasting and HDTV, as well as the subscription, advertising and other revenue opportunities resulting from these developments for cable, broadcast and satellite companies. Mr. Kishore has spoken at numerous cable and other media industry events and is widely quoted in leading business and consumer publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Businessweek. Mr. Kishore has spent nearly ten years in the media industry, beginning his career in television news in 1994. He then spent three years in advertising, developing strategic brand communication and tactical/promotional initiatives for a range of leading consumer brands including Nestle, Samsung and McDonalds. Over the next two years, Mr. Kishore developed a number of digital video and web projects for various New England broadcast stations and independent producers. This includedinteractive video projects with the PBS network series, Frontline. Prior to the Yankee Group, Mr. Kishore spent a year developing brand and market strategies for start-up interactive media companies. Mr. Kishore holds a Bachelors degree with Honors in economics from Delhi University, India, and a Masters degree in media from Emerson College, Boston.