Networks Will Network at CES

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Cable networks are stepping up their presence at the CES show, dispatching small armies of executives to speak on panels, take meetings and prowl the halls of the conference floor for new technology trends.

NBC Universal networks are leading the pack. USA Network/Sci Fi Channel President Bonnie Hammer and Bravo/Oxygen Lauren Zalaznick, as well as other executives from the company's networks.

Lifetime will send a team of six executives from its strategic planning, online sales and other departments to take meetings, scope out new technologies and case out competitive services. "We are there to make sure that we're covering our bases for our consumer and make sure our content lives where the consumer is," says Kimberly Dobson, Lifetime's VP, business development, digital media.

Of particular interest are new gaming and mobile applications, Internet TV and other time- and place-shifting technologies, says Jason Revzon, the company's director, business development, digital media.

Because kids are some of the biggest tech consumers, executives from Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and other tyke-targeted services will speak at a "Sandbox Summit" breakfast Jan. 7.

Turner Broadcasting is sending at least seven executives.

Disney and Discovery are also sending groups of executives. And Viacom's contingent includes CEO Philippe Dauman and MTV Networks Chairman/CEO Judy McGrath. For one network, Comcast's young male-targeted G4, the conference itself will serve as programming content. As it has for the past five years, the channel will cover CES over two nights with four primetime hours and added material on its Website.