It’s the end of an era for cable TV: The industry’s biggest trade group — recently renamed NCTA – The Internet & Television Association — said today that it will stop sponsoring INTX, the annual gathering that was a must-go for industry moguls for decades when it was known as the Cable Show.
“We are now exploring new and better ways to tell our story, to gather our community, to advance our growth and present our vision of the future,” CEO Michael Powell, the former FCC chairman, said in a blog post about the 65-year-old confab.
The group now believes that “large trade show floors, dotted with exhibit booths and stilted schedules have become an anachronism. Contemporary venues emphasize conversation, dialog, and more intimate opportunities to explore and interact with technology. Ending INTX gives us a clean slate and we are excited to explore presenting our industry in new and different ways.”
Powell noted that many have “fond memories of shows gone by and will continue to swap stories about past experiences. But all good things must come to an end. And endings hold the promise of new beginnings.”
For years the Cable Show was known for its extravagant parties and private meetings where power brokers including John Malone, Ted Turner, Brian Roberts, and Rupert Murdoch made some of their biggest deals.
But the annual gathering began to look like a Potemkin village as cable matured and consolidated. With major decisions in the hands of two industry giants — Comcast and Charter — and most operators looking to cut channels, there was no need for a showcase for new programmers and technology makers who want a foothold in the business.
Operators also now make more money from broadband than they do from television, leaving INTX without a clear mission.