Jul 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As co-chair of the CTAM digital conference last April, Mark Greenberg wanted to shake things up a bit.
So he and co-Chair Patty McCaskill, VP of programming and pay-per-view at Charter Communications, urged speakers and presenters to think outside the box. “Since digital is the hot topic, we wanted to be out there and do something more interesting, challenging and applicable rather than having talking heads,” said Mr. Greenberg, Showtime’s executive VP of corporate strategy and communications. He’s receiving a TAMI for his leadership of the CTAM Digital Conference.
Time Warner Cable lived up to that challenge and hired actors to perform a skit. The multiple system operator’s Chuck Ellis, executive VP and chief marketing officer, went on stage with three actors playing a family and talked to them about what digital would mean to them.
That bold and unusual effort set the tone and energy level for the conference, Mr. Greenberg said. “Digital is different, and we try to do it in a different way,” he said. “People don’t want to see three days of talking heads. They want to see something a little different.”
Mr. Greenberg also talked about the industry. He expects the price of high-definition sets to hit that sweet spot of under $1,000 by the Christmas season, ushering in the next generation of high-definition television buyers.
Showtime offers slightly more than 50 percent of its schedule in true HD and up-converts a little more than 70 percent. “Down the road you will see our plex channels or The Movie Channel in HD,” Mr. Greenberg said.