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Digital TV Europe November/December 2010


Euro 50 > Leaders in broadband and pay-TV


Benny Salaets Vice-president, content management, Telenet


Benny Salaets has been responsible for launching, developing and growing the Telenet digital TV product.


Age 45


Education Master in Communication Sciences, MBA.


Achievements of the year We’ve reached the magical one million digital TV subscribers mark. Since 2005 our digital growth has been consistent. Achieving that with a high-end IPTV competitor in the market that is giving away the TV product for free in its bundles gives us great pleasure. It proves that our advanced product has appeal and that we were spot on with what consumers want from their TV experience.


Surprises of 2010 The success of the iPad stunned me, for several reasons. It is actually a device that is based on available technologies.


It’s a game changer in the internet device mar- ket, giving Apple at least 12 months advance on any competitor. Besides that, it will proba- bly fundamentally change the way our cus- tomers are using or want to use our broad- band and video services. I am still surprised about the OTT and business model decisions of a lot of content providers and broadcasters. A lot of initiatives have been launched at the speed of light with sometimes unclear busi- ness models. What strikes me is that content providers, our traditional partners, seem to pretend that nothing will happen with their current business models, their relationships with operators, free and pay TV broadcasters. We sincerely hope that we can quickly restart cooperating in value creation.


Goals for next year We will continue to listen to our customers, and provide them the supe- rior TV experience they are looking for, on every screen they want to enjoy it. Making 4W real: Watch What you want, When you


want, Where you want. We will continue to pur- sue a value creating partnership model with our partners, content providers and broadcast- ers. This will require innovation in business models and services offered. We continue to believe that the cooperation model in offering consumers what they want creates the most value for the media and cable industry.


Game-changing future development IP video is bound to be a game changer. The past year has shown that media business models are changing due to OTT IP video. New media players emerge, while others disappear.


Duco Sickinghe CEO, Telenet


Duco Sickinghe has led Belgian cable operator through another successful year.


Age 52


Education Master in Law, University of Utrecht; MBA.


Achievements of the year In general: to keep Telenet growing – 2009 was best year ever with significant growth of subscriptions for all product lines, a steady increase of aver-


age revenue per customer and overall healthy financial and operational results; the introduc- tion of EuroDOCSIS 3.0, allowing higher speeds and more volume for all internet prod- ucts; and the start of field testing LTE/4G. In 2010 Telenet became also a Full MVNO. xFor TV: the introduction of 3D; the introduction of a new and smart user interface for digital TV; the introduction of digi-programmer, which allows everybody to programme his Telenet STB via the internet where and when he or she wants, for fixed and mobile; the signing of a contract for DTT deployment in 2011; and keeping analogue cable churn under control.


Surprises of 2010 With the introduction of tablet PCs like the iPad, the convergence of TV and the internet is a reality, much faster than anybody could foresee. On a smart designed, fast and reliable device you can watch TV, see favourite series, read the newspaper, look at funny videos, listen to your music and chat with friends on Facebook. The multimedia society is a fact and everybody likes it.


Goals for next year Introduce simplicity in all product lines to get higher customer satisfac- tion and better results.


Game-changing future development The convergence of television and the internet will have impact on the TV industry and gener- ate a complete paradigm shift. Broadcasters, providers, hardware companies, content pro- ducers, studios and artists have to reinvent themselves and have to live with changing roles. Who is a partner for who? Classic busi- ness models in media will change.


Favourite TV show Mad Men– The NY advertising scene and culture of the early ‘60s is so different than today, but it fascinates me that the basic building blocks for creating strong brands are still the same.


I’m really


proud that our Prime discovered this top series long before it was hyped.


Life outside work Spending time with my family and friends.


Visit us at at www.digitaltveurope.net 41


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