CES Continues Courting Content

Nielsen, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, MTV Networks, Buena Vista Home Entertainment book space for 2009 International CES in Las Vegas.

The Consumer Electronics Association announced Wednesday that major content companies Nielsen, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, MTV Networks and Buena Vista Home Entertainment all secured exhibition space for the 2009 International CES, which runs Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.

For the past few years, the CEA has been pursuing major programmers, studios and cable companies to take a larger role in CES, which has traditionally been a tech-focused showcase for HDTV sets and other electronic gadgets.

With new technology such as portable media players, TV-capable mobile phones and "media-extender" devices that bring Internet video to the TV having a large impact on content companies' distribution strategies, CES is increasingly becoming a must-see show for programmers and operators.

The growing importance of CES to the broadcasting and cable industries has been evident with corporate chiefs like CBS' Les Moonves, Disney's Bob Iger and Comcast's Brian Roberts giving keynotes in recent years and the decision last year by Sony Pictures Television and NBC Universal to exhibit on the CES show floor. SPT, in fact, skipped the National Association of Television Program Executives’ NATPE 2008 syndication show to focus its efforts on CES, where it exhibited alongside corporate cousin Sony Electronics.

The CEA said 8,900 executives from content companies visited CES 2008 out of more than 140,000 attendees.