Global media giants and key regional players converge at upcoming CASBAA Convention


With 2016 marking the 25th anniversary of both cable TV in the region and the inauguration of CASBAA, this year’s CASBAA Convention is set to underscore just how much the industry has transformed over the last quarter of a century. This year the CASBAA Convention is at a new venue at Studio City, Macau, and promises to be hotter than ever, with an impressive line-up of speakers including the opening keynote from one of the most powerful men in advertising Irwin Gotlieb, Global Chairman of media agency Group M.

Speakers include Bennett Pozil from California-based East West Bank, who has been deeply involved in arranging financing for China’s Hollywood funding, Chad Gutstein, CEO of Machinima, one of the biggest online “multichannel networks” (or MCNs) and James Schwab, the Co-President of Vice Media, who was an advisor on some of the biggest media deals in the US in the past decade and more, including work with Time Warner, DreamWorks, Sony and Viacom.

Other speakers include Thom Beers, who was responsible for creating “Monster Garage”, “Deadliest Catch”, “Ice Road Truckers” and “Ax Men”, and Neil Smythe who runs the hugely successful online social media fan site “Football Republic”. This will be the first opportunity most delegates will have had to learn from any of these speakers in Asia.

The CASBAA Convention will also address issues on piracy and the rise of the pirate black box, or the “Illicit Streaming Device” as well as covering topics at the heart of the digital transformation of the broadcast industry, with global and regional overviews from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Media Partners Asia, respectively, and sessions from research companies S&P Global Market Intelligence, Kantar, and Nielsen. The CASBAA Convention will also feature panels on advertising, streaming media, technology, content strategy, and satellite services, as well as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese content.

There’s no denying that increased broadband capabilities and the rise of digital disrupters has had a significant impact on the way content is now disseminated and consumed, forcing established industry players to urgently rethink their business model. Christopher Slaughter, CEO, CASBAA says, “The simple truth is that companies that fail to evolve will be left behind. By taking a look at some of the best practices in the industry, both in our neck of the woods and further afield, it is our belief that the CASBAA Convention will help our members find ways to navigate – and even conquer – the unchartered territory ahead.”

This year more than 40 operators from 15 markets have already confirmed their attendance at the CASBAA Convention and CASBAA will showcase a series of fascinating Operator interviews which will take place throughout the conference on the main stage.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers and Speaker Lineup To Date: – Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman, Group M Global As the man responsible for generating US$100 billion a year from global ad sales (a 30% market share, with 38% of the Asia pie) GroupM Chairman Irwin Gotlieb is the most powerful media buyer on the planet. Irwin Gotlieb’s opinions matter.

– Bennett Pozil, Head of Corporate Banking & EVP, East West Bank East West Bank is one of the premier entertainment financers in both the U.S. and Greater China and has made over $1.8 billion in loans since 2011 to help finance the production and distribution of film and TV products in the U.S. and China markets. The group has helped finance hundreds of projects including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” (2016), “Great Wall” (2016). The Hunger Games franchise and Orange is the New Black.

– Chad Gutstein, CEO, Machinima Since Multichannel Networks (MCNs) or aggregation “plays” first took their place in the YouTube/OTT economy a couple of years ago, on occasion they have attracted mouthwatering valuations of US$1billion+. Machinima have the tools, the stats and the scale to create the ultimate destination for fandom and gamer culture and push the boundaries. But where next?

– Thom Beers, CEO, BobCat Thom Beers is a living legend among TV producers and is responsible for some of the most innovative PayTV content such as Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men and Monster Garage. This Face to Face session looks at how he managed to turn fly on the wall docu-drama into such a successful genre and ask quite simply – what’s next?

– James Schwab, Co-President, Vice Media VICE began as an anarchic magazine that has since become a $4bn global media brand operating in 30 countries and continues to revolutionise the TV content business. Over the course of his career James Schwab has been involved in some of the biggest media deals over the past decade. What’s next for this new media powerhouse?

– Ben Reneker, Director, S&P Global Market Intelligence (formerly SNL Kagan) How the world’s most successful operators leverage big data and predictive analytics to improve the viewing experience.

– David Weiland, EVP Asia, BBC Worldwide; Nickhil Jakatdar, Founder & CEO, Vuclip; Vishal Malhotra, COO, Zee Digital Convergence For more than two years, video streaming was no more than a “Threat” to the Pay-TV industry rather than a “Promise”. Today it’s a “Reality”. What further pipe dreams are in store for the Asian TV market in the next 3-5 years?

– Basil Chua, CEO, Asia MX; Dave Downey, CEO, INVIDI In recent times media have cheerfully been announcing the demise of the traditional advertising model. The solution, of course, is the inexorable rise of Programmatic and Addressable ad sales audience monitoring. But is that true? Has the process become simpler and more effective or yet more confusing for the clients and even the media agencies?

– Craig Johnson, MD Media, The Nielsen Company How measurement techniques are changing to adapt to the new broadcast environment including the latest thinking on Streaming & OTT.

– Neil Smythe, Head of Sport, Shotglass Media, FMUK Interactive The Football Republic (TFR) is a network of social media channels that has engaged football YouTubers. TFR puts the audience first with interactive content that allows fans to have a say as soon as the story breaks.

– Tom Jahr, EVP Product & Marketing, Conax Five Tips on How to be top: Winning strategies for PayTV Operators

– Janice Lee, MD, PCCW Media Group; Katherine Wen, Director of Pay TV, ITV plc & Channel Director, ITV Choice As the lines begin to blur between pay TV, FTA and terrestrial channels for consumers, we look at how two different companies are addressing fundamental shifts in technology and business plans that are seeing them successfully enter more non-domestic markets

– Panel discussion hosted by Marcel Fenez, President, Fenez Media As CASBAA moves into its 25th year we look five years into the future of Asian Pay-TV. Will the consumer still pay? Can FTA and PSB survive? Can we expect to see broadcasters embrace OTT as the preferred delivery? What else can we expect that’s just around the corner?

CASBAA will also hold its annual Policy Roundtable on the Monday prior to the Convention. This closed-door summit with invited regulatory officials from a range of jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region represents an unprecedented forum for industry and governments to interact.

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