NATPE 2013: Mark Cuban Still Betting on TV

CompleteCoverage: NATPE 2013

Technology billionaire Mark Cuban, who's long been a pioneer
in the digital space, remains bullish on television even with digital video on
the rise.

"Television has a huge advantage in the social media
world. [With TV,] everyone experiences same thing at the same time. Now viewers
are sitting with devices on couches -- tweeting, posting on social media, and
using television as instigator for all of that. TV is starting point for
conversations. When you watch TV, you are getting a unique experience that you
can't get online," Cuban, president of live-event focused cable network
AXS TV, told CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow at the opening keynote of this
year's NATPE 2013 at the Fontainebleau Hotel and Resort in Miami Beach.

Cuban rebranded his HD Net to AXS TV last July. Cuban said
he believes that live events, best aired over the broad spectrum of television,
drives digital media engagement.

"Not even 30% of the U.S. population is on Twitter, and
an even smaller percentage is actively using it," said Cuban. "Those
numbers will only grow. By going in the direction that we did at AXS TV, we've
found a unique solution to start the social-media conversation.

"If you want to be a part of the social-media
conversation that all of your friends are having, you have to have cable"
or satellite TV to see live events, sports, awards shows and popular reality
shows, he continued.

Digital media, such as YouTube and others, also continues to
be very fragmented, making it hard to gather an audience. Smart TV, so far, is
also not so smart, making it "too much work" for the consumer to want
to use as a primary television service.

"The hard part of all of this is marketing and gaining
an audience at one place at one time," Cuban said. "Packaging,
bundling for the consumer, will not go away. A la carte would make it so
expensive for the consumer that you would just kill television. People like
bundles. People don't want to have to work for their entertainment. You pay a
premium for it because it saves you time."

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.