The SCTE said Friday that it will walk back plans to go forward with a live iteration of its annual Cable-Tec Expo event in Atlanta in October and retreat to a virtual format.
Now operating as a subsidiary of CableLabs following a merger of the two major cable industry technology-focused trade groups last year, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers cited concern for the "health and safety" of its constituents and attendees for reformatting the event, which was scheduled for Oct. 11-14 in Atlanta.
Both the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and SCTE announced in June that they would each move forward with live iterations of their respective signature trade events. But at least in the case of the latter, the recent surge of COVID-19's delta variant posed too much of a risk. (NAB Show Las Vegas is still slated for Oct. 9-13.)
According to data provided by The New York Times, the state of Georgia has only 43% of its population vaccinated against COVID, and the state is averaging more than 7,600 new cases a day.
SCTE, which produced its 2020 Cable-Tec Expo event in a virtual format, will release details of its reformatted 2021 conference at a later date.
“As a virtual event last year, Cable-Tec Expo had the largest level of engagement we have ever seen and we look forward to that same level of connection, innovation, and education in October,” said Mark Dzuban, SCTE president and CEO, in a statement.
Added Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs: “It's been proven that whether in-person or online, Cable-Tec Expo truly brings the industry together. We are looking forward to connecting safely with the individuals and organizations that genuinely care about our businesses and the industry at large. Our primary mission is to develop learning and technology that will innovate today’s broadband technology in a way that benefits all of our members and customers.”
Cable TV Pioneers has its annual induction ceremony on Monday, Oct. 11, in Atlanta, ahead of and separate from the Expo. Those plans have not changed, a Pioneers representative said on Friday.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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