CableWorld columnists Catherine Applefeld Olson (CAO), Paul Maxwell (PM) and Paul Kagan (PK) share their unabashed views on The Cable Show’s most vital sessions.

Monday, May 7

ECONOMICS 101: THE BUSINESS CASE FOR OCAP
9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom I
Moderator: DON DULCHINOS (CableLabs)
Speakers: PATRICK DONOGHUE (Time Warner Cable), JOAN GILLMAN (Time Warner Cable Media Sales), MARK HESS (Comcast Cable), STEPHEN NECESSARY (Cox Communications)
Sit up and take notice when the word "business" is in the title of a panel about interactivity. This session is not an option, it’s (Steve) Necessary, from Cox, not to mention two — count ’em, two — speakers from Time Warner, one from Comcast and a moderator from CableLabs. Interactive is finally MSO-cool. PK

TELEVISION 2.0: WHY PROGRAMMERS CARE…AND WHAT THEY’RE DOING
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Mandalay Ballroom I
Moderator: ARTHUR ORDUÑA (Advance/Newhouse Commuications)
Speakers: ALBERT CHENG (Disney ABC TV Group), GEORGE KLIAVKOFF (NBC Universal), DEBORA WILSON (The Weather Channel Companies)
Television 2.0? We thought it was more like 3.1 by now, but we digress…Find out why now really — no, really — is the time for networks and MSOs to put interactive TV to work. Orduña, Kliavkoff and Wilson share their reasons for leveraging the OCAP platform. But our money’s on Cheng to provide the most salient methods of engaging the on-demand generation. CAO

GENERAL SESSION:
CABLE 2.0: GROWING CABLE’S NEXT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom J
Moderator: CHAR BEALES (CTAM)
Speakers: ARYEH BOURKOFF (UBS), GLENN BRITT (Time Warner Cable), STEVE BURKE (Comcast Corp.), TOM RUTLEDGE (Cablevision Systems Corp.)
A big three of operators plus one investment guy and Char Beales asking questions about standing out in a crowded entertainment world…with maybe a little marketing advice tossed in. PM
Will Time Warner’s Glenn Britt and Comcast’s Steve Burke admit their next best opportunity is to buy Tom Rutledge’s Cablevision? (You’re right; I own stock in all three.) Will they give UBS analyst Aryeh Bourkoff guidance on their upcoming strategies? Show up and find out. PK

SCREEN TEST: PROGRAMMING FOR THE NEW, THE OLD AND THE IN-BETWEEN
3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Breakers J
Moderator: BILL GOODWYN (Discovery Communications)
Speakers: BRIDGET BAKER (NBC Universal TV Networks Distribution), MATT BOND (Comcast Cable), COLEMAN BRELAND (Turner Network Sales), PAMELA HALLING (Insight Communications), ROBERT WILSON (Cox Communications)
Programming panel or Six Degrees of David Zaslav? Moderator Goodwyn survived the DCI reorg to remain Zaslav’s affiliate sales chief. Baker succeeded Zaslav as distribution head for NBC Universal’s cable properties. Wilson is programming chief at Cox, which just swapped its 25% DCI stake for Travel Channel and a cool $1.25 billion. You get the picture… CAO

CASH ON HAND: CFOs ASSESS CABLE’S ECONOMIC PROGRESSION
3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom L
Moderator: RAYMOND LEE KATZ (KLR Associates LLC)
Speakers: JOHN ALCHIN (Comcast Corp.), MICHAEL HUSEBY (Cablevision Systems Corp.), JOHN MARTIN (Time Warner Cable)
Quick, make a decision. Do you sit in on the technical session about how to transfer a program from your DVR to the screen on your new refrigerator, or do you pay your respects to three chief financial officers from MSOs with 40 million subscribers and $20 billion in annual cash flow? Come early, bring your calculator and hope they leave a token of their appreciation on the table at the back of the room. PK

Tuesday, May 8

GENERAL SESSION:
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY: COMPETITION WORKS, CONSUMERS WIN!
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom J
Keynote: KYLE MCSLARROW (NCTA)
Moderator: WILLIAM KENNARD (The Carlyle Group)
Speakers: PETER CHERNIN (News Corp.), PHILIPPE DAUMAN (Viacom), RICHARD PARSONS (Time Warner), BRIAN ROBERTS (Comcast Corp.)
The real don’t-miss event…one-time FCC guy Kennard with the big four leaders of entertainment…most interesting aspects might be: (1) will they agree with Kyle? and (2) will they actually say anything meaningful? PM

Wednesday, May 9

GENERAL SESSION:
SPONSORING THE FUTURE: ADVERTISING’S ADVANCED ADVENTURE
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom J
Keynote: AUGUST BUSCH IV (Anheuser-Busch Companies)
Moderator: ALEXIS GLICK (Fox Business Channel)
Speakers: LISA GERSH (Oxygen Media), LANDEL HOBBS (Time Warner Cable), JOHN LANSING (Scripps Networks), DAVID ZASLAV (Discovery Communications)
Budweiser helped create ESPN, and whatever Busch says will resonate…like why his Bud TV on the Web isn’t a threat to more advertising via cable, perhaps. And the mix of operators and programmers should make for some lively discussion. PM

VIEW FROM THE STREET: FINANCIAL ANALYSTS SHARE THE VIBE ON VALUATION
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom L
Moderator: JOHN ABOTT (Insight Communications)
Speakers: CRAIG MOFFETT (Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.), SPENCER WANG (Bear, Stearns & Co.), JEFF WLODARCZAK (Wachovia Capital Markets)
Trying to figure out how to get into the market? Or when to get out? This meeting’s for you. And if it isn’t, come anyway to learn how to pronounce Wlodarczak and Wachovia! PK

CLOSING GENERAL SESSION:
ALL IN FOR 2010: CABLE’S FAST-FORWARD FORECAST
4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Mandalay Bay Ballroom J
Moderator: ALI VELSHI (CNN)
Speakers: JEFFREY BEWKES (Time Warner), PATRICK ESSER (Cox Communications), MICHAEL FRIES (Liberty Global), ROBERT IGER (The Walt Disney Co.), JENNIFER NASON (JP Morgan Securities)
Ah, the session that should’ve followed Kyle et al….I just hope someone is still around at the end of the day Wednesday (best reason: NCTA board won’t meet until the next day?). This is one of the best panels of the week with a (usually pithy and funny) Bewkes, an emerging Esser, a smart Fries, a classy Iger and a real money person. PM

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