The cable operators on CTAM NY’s Blue Ribbon Breakfast panel didn’t appear to be shaking in their boots over possible competition from new mobile video screens. "It’s not a substitute product," said Comcast svp, marketing and sales Marvin Davis. "It’s going to be in places where it’s either screen or no screen." Video viewing over cell phones has potential, the panel said. Pointing to consumer churn in cell phone handsets, Advance/Newhouse vp, strategic initiatives Arthur Orduna appeared excited. "This is even better than having to go out and force people to buy HDTVs," he said. ESPN sees avid sports fans as early adopters for its mobile service. "The person would likely be divorced if they didn’t have the device because they wouldn’t leave the house," quipped John Zehr, ESPN vp, prod dev. For now, portable DVD players and laptops are the crux of mobile video. SlingMedia co-founder Jason Krikorian suggested that alternative screens aren’t just being used outside the home. "People are using Slingbox to watch cable programming in and around the house," he said. Krikorian made it clear Slingbox would consider cable deals ("we’re a company with few religious issues," he quipped), but neither Davis nor Orduna would comment.

The Daily


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Discovery CEO David Zaslav has spent the last 15 years building a factual content empire, but a $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia will soon have him overseeing a dynasty with more than 20 traditional cable networks, two young streaming services, and probably a partridge and a pear tree.

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