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Cable Show 2012: Brands Will Survive in TV Everywhere Environment

Complete Coverage: Cable Show 2012

Boston -- Even as programming moves toward a TV Everywhere
model where users can self-select content to watch at any time on any platform,
that doesn't mean traditional TV brands are going away, according to the
panelists speaking on "Planet Video: New Directions in Television Content and
Delivery" moderated by Reuters' Yinka Adegoke at the Cable Show here Monday

"I don't believe brands go away. When you say I want to have
this kind of emotion, you go to this brand," said Coleman Breland, COO of
Turner Network Sales. "That being said, I don't know if all brands survive.
Maybe they tighten a little bit. Instead of 18-34, it's 18-19."

While recent digital efforts like YouTube's creation of 100
original channels are betting that users will seek out tailored content without
the platform of a traditional TV brand, JB Perrette, chief digital officer,
Discovery Communications, pointed out that early adopters of such technology,
18-24 year-olds, have more time to devote to discovering programming than a 30
year old does.

"Curation is still an incredibly important element, and
that's what brands do," he argued. "It's even more critical in a world where
you have more and more choice."

Condé Nast agrees, which is why last year it brought on former
CW topper Dawn Ostroff to head the new Condé Nast Entertainment Group,
tasked with extending its magazine brands to TV. Sahar Elhabashi, COO of the
Group, said the group wants to create branded channels online, and are not
looking to do traditional linear TV.

"With infinite choice out there, brands are where you're
going to discover content," she said. "Our strong brands will help us break
through the clutter in digital."

While Irv Kalick, principal of TV partnerships at Google, agreed that brands are important, he argued that newer guides may hurt them as navigational paradigms shift from being channel-driven to show driven. (For example on Hulu, shows are searched for by title, not network). In such an environment, like what Google is trying to build with Google TV, brands may struggle to get the attribution they got before.

"For us, it's about giving end user opportunity to find
whatever content they're looking for," he said.

One thing that will change as a result of programming being
available in more places is the global windowing element, with international
rollouts getting harder to do with the addition of social media and multiple
platforms, particularly with suspenseful dramas.

"Digital is forcing a new look at the global windowing
strategy because of the time sensitive element," Perrette said.

That challenge has led shows like AMC's The Walking Dead and Fox's Touch
to experiment with worldwide premieres of original episodes, a trend he said is
likely to continue.