As anticipated in VideoAge’s November (AFM) Issue, the CCW trade show currently being held at the Javits Center in New York City, has been rebranded as NAB Show New York.
NAB president Gordon H. Smith was on hand to announce the rebranding and to introduce the show’s opening keynote speaker, Steve Mosko, chairman of Sony Pictures Television.
By choosing Mosko as the show’s very first speaker, Smith sent a message that, in the future, the NAB Show New York will have a stronger content component.
At this year’s event, which runs November 11 through the 12th, the content component constitutes just 20 percent of conference topics, covering studios, production, programming and advertising. However, the rest of the 64 total sessions are devoted to hardware-related subjects, in tune with the traditional focus of the CCW show.
Before introducing Mosko, Smith praised the role of U.S. broadcast radio and television (the Washington, D.C.-based association represents the U.S. broadcasting sector), pointing out “there is no substitute for broadcast localism. Broadcast is the ultimate survivor,” he said.
Mosko, who was interviewed by former New York Times reporter Bill Carter, answered Smith’s preface by saying that, being a studio with no broadcast networks, he’s “little concerned with the network world.” But, later he acknowledged that having a “big hit on network television is still the greatest.”
Prodded by Carter, Mosko touched on several topics, starting with Sony’s success with the creation of original production for basic cable, which, he attributed somewhat to luck (and good scheduling in the case of Breaking Bad, which came on directly after Mad Men), prompting the funny remark that, “better to be lucky than good.”
“On cable,” he said, “there is less attention on opening night [ratings].” He added that, “television has become cinematic, but contrary to the 90-minute theatrical movies, TV can develop characters throughout many episodes.”
According to Mosko, the freedom that cable has to offer is what attracts the best talent to the “indie” studio. “We have an amazing relationship with the creative community,” and, in addition “we have worldwide distribution,” he said.
But, pointed out that, although “it is an advantage to be independent, we have to work harder.”
Toward the end of the conversation, Mosko touched on the Sony’s OTT platform Crackle, explaining that it was once a little user-generated site that was turned into a “user-friendly, free TV digital outlet that took advantage of our library” and is now showing original production. “Joining the digital world is important,” he added.
To stress this point, Mosko showed a few clips of current and future original productions, including The Art of More for Crackle, and for 2016, Preacher for AMC, The Crown for Netflix, Underground for WGN America and the animated SuperMansion for Crackle.
Finally, Carter asked about the infamous e-mail hacking, a subject Mosko was hoping to avoid. But he conceded that even though it created hardship, the group never lost focus.