Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Cable industry executives gathered at the NCTA Cable Show to discuss growing competition from online video content providers, and the need for cable TV to improve delivery systems of cable programming across all devices. By improving the consumer experience and video-on-demand services, cable companies hope to “protect their turf” from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Also, leaders in the cable industry recognize the need to find a solution for rising cable TV prices.

NCTA’s annual Cable Show in Los Angeles brings together more than 12,000 professionals from around the world to discuss the future of cable TV.

According to John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, the future of cable TV depends on the cable industry’s ability to adapt to changing viewer trends. “We have superior content. We need superior delivery systems,” Skipper said.

CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, John Martin, called for programmers and distributors to work together to improve subscription TV services.

“Authentication is a barrier to usage, he said, and cable operators need to improve the robustness of video-on-demand,” reports Variety. Part of that mission may include improving the interface of video-on-demand services to make their systems more user-friendly like Netflix.

Jerry Kent, chairman and CEO of Suddenlink Communications believes online video services’ low prices pose a serious threat to cable companies because consumers may abandon their cable TV subscriptions for low-cost streaming options. Kent advocated lower-priced tiers of cable services to remain competitive in the video content market.