With most talk in Atlanta this week focusing on futuristic applications like streaming video and mobile services, MSO leaders identified a current revenue stream as cable’s biggest potential growth driver. "The next big thing isn’t some killer application that hasn’t been invented. It’s what we’re talking about in this room: business services," Cox vp and region manager Gary McCollum told CTAM’s Business Services Forum attendees in Atlanta Wed. One of the biggest problems Business Services divisions face remains getting corporate to support them enough. TW Cable is "mostly there," says John Guran of the MSO’s NW OH div. There’s a good buy-in at the local operational level, but capital allocation can be a problem. "There’s good intentions at the start of a budgeting process," he said, but if a residential product really takes off, then capital is shifted that way. Cablevision’s vp, commercial marketing Jill Wagner painted a slightly different picture. Corporate invested millions so her div could conduct a comprehensive survey of the entire footprint. The results help CVC determine whether potential business customers are serviceable, where construction is needed, etc. "Now, I have to show a decent return," said Wagner, a former telco exec. "But it’s certainly known that this is where the growth is." General consensus is that Cox Business Services has made the most headway so far. Cox Business has done a good job marketing internally, such as setting up a referral program that encouraged workers to reach out to local business, like their barber, their drycleaner, etc. "We’ve gotten everybody energized about this business so that everybody feels like part of this next big thing that’s happening," said McCollum.

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Chris Berman is sticking around. The sports commentator, who has been with ESPN since one month after its 1979 launch, signed a multi-year deal with the network. The contract was announced Monday, which marked Berman’s 66th birthday. Longtime ESPN personality Kenny Mayne announced he’s leaving the network after 27 years. Mayne said on Twitter he’s […]

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