Upped to her current post in 2014, Shibata oversees the continually expanding Cable Entertainment group’s financial performance and operations and plays a key role in its strategic business initiatives. She gives the cable industry a B+ on diversity, noting, “There have been a lot of great efforts made in the last decade, and awareness is very high. As a result, there are great pockets of diverse representation on the air and in the workforce, but there are still too few minorities and women in leadership positions. We won’t achieve ‘A’ level grades until the question of diversity isn’t even a question.” When it comes to technology, Shibata says that although it may seem counterintuitive, wireless and high-speed broadband will most affect the industry in the coming year. “From an economic viewpoint, cable providers and channels will need to adjust our monetization methods, but in the long run, getting our content out to more viewers should be beneficial,” she says.

What grade do you give the cable industry on diversity and why?
I would give the cable industry a B+. There have been a lot of great efforts made in the last decade, and awareness is very high. As a result, there are great pockets of diverse representation on the air and in the workforce, but there are still too few minorities and women in leadership positions.  We won’t achieve ‘A’ level grades until the question of diversity isn’t even a question.

The technology that will most benefit cable over the next year is…
It may sound counter intuitive, but I think the technology that may benefit cable the most is wireless and high speed broadband. Better broadband offerings and the introduction of virtual MVPDs will allow viewers to bring cable product into their homes less expensively and without the clunkiness of a set-top box. From an economic viewpoint, cable providers and channels will need to adjust our monetization methods, but in the long run, getting our content out to more viewers should be beneficial.

What television show/s – cable or broadcast  – best embrace diversity?
I think Shonda Rhimes does a great job in her shows of portraying strong and smart minorities and women (even if they do get themselves into a lot trouble), and I personally love “Fresh Off the Boat” on ABC.  But right now the best show of diversity on TV is the Olympics and the U.S. team in particular!

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