Small MSO Execs Convene at The Independent Show

Commemorating the National Cable Television Cooperative’s 30th anniversary, executives from small cable operators across the nation and their families are going to Kansas City, Mo. for The Independent Show.

In the group’s hometown, NCTC and American Cable Association officials are gathering on Sunday, July 27 for registration, the first-timers' reception and a welcoming evening tailgate party, before getting down to business from July 28-30, when they will pursue networking opportunities, check out displays from over 140 exhibitors and engage in educational sessions, with key discussions centering on IP, TV Everywhere and, not surprisingly, rising programming costs.

This year’s event will unfurl at the Kansas City Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center. Check out the conference schedule here.    

Monday’s agenda is highlighted by a members-only meeting, where NCTC president and CEO Rich Fickle and ACA president and CEO Matt Polka will preside over the combined discussion for both organizations. The former group will conduct its 2014 board member election and present a financial overview and examine other business issues, while ACA will elect its board, distribute its member awards and provide an overview of the progress made during 2013-2014 and its plans for 2014-2015. Those events will be backed by an open discussion about key issues impacting members.

The conference’s opening general session follows: “IP is the Future – Are you on Board?” Moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s Shalini Ramachandran, the discussion will focus on the key trends and how members can align their resources to optimize the opportunity for the IP future and to ensure their place in it. The panelists: Wave Broadband CEO Steve Weed, Imagine Communications CTO Steve Reynolds, and Jimmy Schaeffler, CSO of consultancy, The Carmel Group.

Sigurd Jonny “Sig” Hansen, who leads the fishing boat Northwestern of Discovery Channel’s long-running reality hit, Deadliest Catch, will pilot conventioneers through lunch with insights as to how his vessel is one of the Alaskan crab industry’s leading producers.

On Tuesday, July 29, the ACA staff and its consultants will provide attendees with updates on a number of current issues integral to small cable operators retransmission-consent, program access, the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, net neutrality, Aereo and the Connect America Fund, among them..

Also on the agenda are three key panels: “From the TV to Everywhere: All Things TVE” that examines the burgeoning platform; a financial discourse with “Wall Street Update for Main Street MSOs”; and a look at top approaches across home security and business services, as well as other growing parts of the cable product mix, during “The Maturing Customer Experience: Best Practices in a Changing Environment.”

Tuesday night’s showcase is the 30th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, honoring NCTC’s contributions over the past three decades. The Independent Operator of the Year Awards will also be presented.  

The Independent Show concludes on Wednesday, July 30, but not before attendees and their families can break breakfast bread  (and bacon and eggs) and  learn about the success story that is Jayhawks basketball from Kansas University head coach Bill Self, who along with his wife Cindy has established the Assist Foundation, a fundraising conduit for an array of youth initiatives.

Before the NCTC and Mid-America Cable Show co-hosted golf tournament at Tiffany Springs Golf Course drives into full swing, members can learn more about such “Emerging Revenue Opportunites” as smart homes, education and healthcare; receive the latest intel on how to handle and communicate to customers when negotiations stall or go wrong in “Surviving a Programmer Dispute: It’s Not the End of the World – Roundtable Discussion”; and learn how to maximize regional sports network agreements in “Acquiring Sports Rights: History and Challenges.”

For its part, the Mid-America Cable Telecommunications Association is holding its annual event alongside the Independent Show. More information about the Mid-America Cable Show is available here.