The message for the television industry at this year’s National Cable Show was clear: It’s all about broadband now. Programmers agreed that they have to focus on consumers who want to watch video on their smartphones and tablet computers. Meanwhile, cable operators know that they can make a lot of cash by enticing new customers to buy broadband now that the TV service business is mature. The big question is whether the Big Media companies can move fast enough to head off competitors such as Apple, Google, and Netflix. But we’ll let the moguls have the last word:

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman

  • “For the content owners there’s never been a better time.”
  • “Netflix is primarily a service that provides library programming. … Netflix got involved in one show (House Of Cards) that was a pay television kind of project, but that isn’t their fundamental business.”
  • “If we are ad supported, (then) we need to have a measurement system in place so the mobile device in the home can sell ads. … (Nielsen) is not measuring it now. That’s one of the obstacles [for TV Everywhere].”
  • “Consumers are changing. … People don’t want to watch the 17th repeat of the same show.”
  • “In a world of a lot of choices, Snookie still rules.”

News Corp COO Chase Carey

  • “We have to do a better job of exciting consumers.”

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes

  • “Let’s all cheer up. This isn’t the music industry. It’s the cable industry. … It’s morning in the cable industry.”
  • “We’re all sitting here at this convention at the cusp of putting all of [our programming] on demand. … We need to get [shows] on every device.”
  • “Put the TV on all the Internet devices and don’t charge people to do it and allow them to [access] they way they’re accustomed to.”

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts

  • “We are demonsrating a whole new level of (Internet) speed. … It’s where the future of broadband is headed.”
  • “We need to make the television feel as relevant as all of these other products [such as smartphones and iPad tablet computers].”

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt

  • “There’s no such thing as a TV anymore. There’s a video display device.”
  • “I see Netflix as another programmer. But clearly if there is something that makes consumers not want to buy the big package (of programming) that we’re selling then that’s a threat to all of us.”
  • “There clearly is a growing underclass of consumers that can’t afford [cable TV] and they want it. It would behoove all of us to have smaller packages… The economics make it difficult, but it would serve us well to worry about that group.”

Cox Communications President Pat Esser

  • “You have to keep going back to the consumer and asking what they value. … Consumers wil reward you for doing that. And in some cases you won’t control all of it.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

  • “Broadband is an absolute key to helping us recover from the terrible economic situation of the last few years…. Our broadband platform is what will make sure that the next generation of products that consumers are buying are developed here.”
  • “One of the great accomplishments of the cable industry was the launch of C-SPAN.…Out of the 50 states in the country only four have (a state equivalent)…I encourage this industry to look at this challenge of creating more state C-SPANS.”
  • “[67% of people who can subscribe to broadband actually do.] 67% is so far from good enough that we can’t be satisfied with slow, step by step incremental change…. We need to step this up a few notches. I’m calling on the cable industry and other industries in the broadband economy to help close the broadband gap.”

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jonathan Liebowitz

  • “I don’t understand why [broadband] metering hasn’t taken off… [In other businesses] people pay for what they use.”

Scripps Networks Interactice CEO Ken Lowe

  • “For us, the content providers…we’re probably going to become a little more dependant on advertising.”

Time Warner Cable COO Rob Marcus

  • “One of the attractions [of Netflix] is the cheapness of that service. And cheapness and breadth of service don’t go hand in hand.”

Oprah Winfrey

  • (About the launch of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network) I was all-in with one foot out the door.
  • My audience came thinking it’s all there. (If she could launch OWN over again) I would clarify it to say, we’re taking Tuesday nights or Sunday nights or Monday nights. I would bring my audience and teach them how to watch cable.
  • I have committed everything I have to this cable venture. It’s everything I have. Myself, my heart, the soul and spirit of me, my company – dedicated to the vision of OWN. I wouldn’t bet against me.