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NCTA Shuts Down ‘The Show’

WASHINGTON — NCTA-The Internet & Television Association last week pulled the plug on its annual trade show, INTX, after 65 years.

The INTX 2017 show in D.C. in April is hereby canceled.

A source familiar with the group’s thinking said NCTA is exploring options for producing an alternate D.C. event in 2017. If so, it will not be anything like a traditional trade show at the convention center. Whatever the group envisions, it will not be downsizing INTX with a new name.

The announcement came only a couple of weeks after the trade group rechristened itself the Internet & Television association, with a new logo and website.

NCTA president Michael Powell said that change, which was approved by the NCTA board, was about more than new names and colorful logos.

“In a space marked by innovation and disruption, an organization must have the courage to make more dramatic transformations if it truly wants to adapt and remain a leading voice,” he blogged last week, adding, “Large trade show floors, dotted with exhibit booths and stilted schedules have become an anachronism.”

Industry consolidation is clearly another factor. “An industry with only two companies that matter does not need a show,” said a former MVPD executive speaking not for attribution.

The days of lots of relatively similarly sized MSOs getting together to strike deals at the annual show are a thing of the past, as was the case with the shrinking of the NATPE programming show, also a victim of consolidation.

Even as NCTA was folding its convention, the SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo was announcing its attendance was up 21% from 2015.

To the degree that vendors still want an MSO audience gathered all in one place at one time, the move could be a boon to the Independent Show.