Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, ESPN’s George Bodenheimer and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker were among the heavyweights at today’s kickoff of the UBS Global Media & Telecommunications Conference.
–This week opened with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker answering tough questions on cost-effective programming with CNBC and The New York Times. At the conference, Jeff Zucker, speaking about the resumption of talks in the writers guild strike said, according to Alleyinsider’s Michael Learmonth, ”We will begin a real dialog tomorrow.” Also: ”UBS Analyst Aryeh Bourkoff tries broach the topic of a potential spinoff of NBC U from GE. Zucker responds that without GE, NBC U might not have been able to ‘write a check for $2 billion’ for the Olympics, or pay for their NFL rights package.” (AlleyInsider)
— Bob Coen, the director of forecasting at media agency Universal McCann, lowered his initial prediction of a gain in U.S. ad spending from $305 billion to $283.9 billion. But for 2008 Coen ”forecast a 3.7% gain in U.S. ad spending in 2008 to $294.4 billion,” says The Hollywood Reporter.
—George Bodenheimer talked about ESPN, which has 34 networks in 200 countries. From Jacob Wiesenthal of Paidcontent:
”NBA International will be distributed across 17 different ESPN platforms. (ESPN) remains the most valuable network on cable TV, which allows it to garner industry leading ad rates. Furthermore, the company is somewhat DVR immune, since it focuses on a live product.” (Paidcontent)
–Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman spoke of integrated branding, ”i.e. Stephen Colbert eating Doritos on his show) efforts,” says Peter Kafka of AlleyInsider.
(image via usatoday)