Starz Encore Bails on NCTA Confab

Starz Encore Group decided not to exhibit at next month's National Show in
Chicago, vice president of corporate communications Paul Jacobson said

The company, which was the first network to pull out of last year's Western
Show, cited industry consolidation, coupled with the disbursement of its sales
force around the country, as reasons for not attending.

'The erection of a large booth on the convention floor is almost archaic for
us from a business standpoint,' Jacobson said.

Starz Encore's exit followed word from National Cable &
Telecommunications Association officials Tuesday that exhibit sales have fallen
15 percent as several technology companies, including Nortel Networks and Cisco
Systems Inc., have pulled out of the convention.

Exhibitors the size of Starz Encore typically spend more than $300,000 to buy
booths at the convention, a source said.

To lessen the blow to the NCTA, Starz Encore will donate $50,000 to the
association, Jacobson said. Although that's less money that the company normally
spends on a booth, it expects the trade group to receive more money on a net
basis since much of the booth expense goes to the convention center, unions and
other parties, he added.

Starz Encore will send 35 employees to the National Show to meet with cable
operators in hotel conference rooms, Jacobson said. That's 'slightly less' than
the number of employees the company has sent in the past, he added.

The company will also have a presence in the booths of some video-on-demand
vendors, where it will pitch its subscription-VOD product, Jacobson said.

While some tech vendors are heading to the exit door, NCTA president Robert
Sachs told reporters Tuesday that exhibit sales to programming networks remained

'Last we heard, Starz Encore had decided to withdraw from the show some
months back,' an NCTA spokesperson said Wednesday.