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Tech Focus at Western Show

Despite another huge plunge in attendance, Broadband Plus, the new Western Show, in Anaheim, Calif., last week was not as dead as had been feared, particularly for tech firms.

Attendance clocked in at 9,700, a 60% plummet from 17,000 last year. And that was down from 30,000 two years ago.

The Western Show has been slammed by both recession and industry consolidation. The number of decision-makers has decreased, and fewer attend the show. Elaborate booths by cable nets are almost completely absent from the show floor.

Network execs said many clients didn't seem to be there. Among the major MSOs, Comcast, Insight, Mediacom were well-represented; AOL Time Warner, Cablevision Systems, Adelphia, and Cox were not.

Tech companies were out in force. The 80,000 square feet of display space (down from 150,000) was filled with suppliers of cable, telephone and networking gear.

And they seemed content. "This was very productive time," said Cedar Point Communications Chairman Mark Galvin. "I've had a lot of good meetings with operators, other vendors and even some international operators."