NATPE 2013: Mark Cuban Still Betting on TV
TV's broad distribution still best way to reach consumers, drive social media, Cuban tells keynote audience
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/28/2013 10:17:49 AMComplete Coverage: NATPE 2013
Technology billionaire Mark Cuban, who's long been a pioneer in the digital space, remains bullish on television even with digital video on the rise.
"Television has a huge advantage in the social media world. [With TV,] everyone experiences same thing at the same time. Now viewers are sitting with devices on couches -- tweeting, posting on social media, and using television as instigator for all of that. TV is starting point for conversations. When you watch TV, you are getting a unique experience that you can't get online," Cuban, president of live-event focused cable network AXS TV, told CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow at the opening keynote of this year's NATPE 2013 at the Fontainebleau Hotel and Resort in Miami Beach.
Cuban rebranded his HD Net to AXS TV last July. Cuban said he believes that live events, best aired over the broad spectrum of television, drives digital media engagement.
"Not even 30% of the U.S. population is on Twitter, and an even smaller percentage is actively using it," said Cuban. "Those numbers will only grow. By going in the direction that we did at AXS TV, we've found a unique solution to start the social-media conversation.
"If you want to be a part of the social-media conversation that all of your friends are having, you have to have cable" or satellite TV to see live events, sports, awards shows and popular reality shows, he continued.
Digital media, such as YouTube and others, also continues to be very fragmented, making it hard to gather an audience. Smart TV, so far, is also not so smart, making it "too much work" for the consumer to want to use as a primary television service.
"The hard part of all of this is marketing and gaining an audience at one place at one time," Cuban said. "Packaging, bundling for the consumer, will not go away. A la carte would make it so expensive for the consumer that you would just kill television. People like bundles. People don't want to have to work for their entertainment. You pay a premium for it because it saves you time."
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