NATPE 2013

Mark Cuban: TV Is Key To Social's Future

The AXS TV owner kicks off the NATPE conference. He says: “The reality is that when you are watching TV, it’s a unique experience that you cannot get online. Television has become the medium to start a social conversation. I believe social interaction around TV will get much bigger.”
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Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of AXS TV, the Dallas Mavericks and a judge-investor on ABC reality show Shark Tank, kicked off the 50th NATPE conference in Miami Beach this morning. In a conversation with CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow, Cuban touched on topics that ranged from the future of TV as social media’s conversation starter, to his multiplatform network AXS TV and to potential audiences being unwilling to work too hard for their entertainment.

“Zero latency is when we all experience the same thing at the same time,” said Cuban. “With television, everybody shares the same thing at the same time. Now, we have our hands on our devices. We’re posting to social media. We’re using television as the instigator for that. The reality is that when you are watching TV, it’s a unique experience that you cannot get online.”

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He said the Internet doesn’t offer the same social experience as TV. “One billion people have watched Gangnam Style online,” he said. “But did you speak with anyone when you watched it? No. It’s such a different experience.”

Cuban noted that he’s been working in the streaming video space for going on two decades. He started AudioNet in 1995. “The kids who were 22 years old when we started AudioNet are now in their 40s,” said Cuban. “They’re not dumb.”

He said his TV network was rebranded from HDNet to AXS TV to tap into the immediacy of TV and its dominance as a social media conversation starter.

“There is a transition to social television,” he said. “We wanted to be there. The best way to do that is with live events. We have partnered with AEG Live. We’re talking to Live Nation. It’s tough to be an independent network. One of the reasons we want to have live content — our tagline is ‘Live Live’ — is that I believe social interaction around TV will get much bigger.

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“Television has become the medium to start a social conversation,” he continued. “We have become so Internet centric over the past 20 years that everyone assumes the solution for social media will be on the Internet.” Rather, he said, it’s TV.

He said his network is also hoping to be an outlet for young TV viewers who are ditching cable TV or who have never subscribed to cable TV.

“We think we’ll have a unique solution for Cable Nevers,” Cuban said. “If you want to watch a live concert on TV, you have to have cable. If you want to be part of that social media conversation, you have to have cable. I have no doubt that television will be the launch pad for social media for Cable Nevers.”

He also said that young viewers, and many older folks, can’t be bothered with complicated technology, no matter how cool it is.

“When you make someone work to find their television, that doesn’t work,” Cuban said. “Whose wireless always works? You have to figure out how to make your router work. It comes down to, people don’t want to work too hard for their entertainment. Like I’ve said before, TV is the best alternative to boredom.”

Cuban also spoke about companies such as Apple — he switched from an iPhone to a Windows-based Samsung smartphone. When asked about Facebook, he said he prefers Amazon’s business model of focusing on long-term solutions rather than Facebook’s short-term fixes.

Cuban was introduced by Rod Perth, president and CEO of NATPE, who is overseeing his first NATPE conference — its 50th anniversary. “This is a huge, huge day for us,” Perth said. “We’ve begun the reinvention process of what NATPE can be. This is our credo, ‘We’re all about service.”

He said since joining NATPE last May the association has been polling its members for what they’d like to see changed about NATPE and what they’d like to stay the same. One of the key findings, he said, is that Miami will be NATPE’s home for some time.

“We invested in research about what you appreciate and what should be left to history,” Perth said. “I’m happy to announce that we’ll be back in Miami in 2014. We’re working on 2015 and beyond.”

He also noted that NATPE is evolving from a conference to buy and sell syndicated TV to a multiplatform conference. “If you’re hearing a digital theme, it’s intentional,” Perth said. “Everyone has to embrace digital. NATPE is committed to being the conference for digital and linear. We are a domestic and international market. Everything we’re doing serves both communities and both segments within those communities. And we’re committed to bringing back more local television to NATPE.”

He also said that, “We believe partnerships are important. The first is CES. We have to connect to the world of digital at NATPE. We’re having conversations with IAB to host newfronts — the digital upfronts — in New York.”

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 28, 2016
  • 1.
    2.8/10
  • 2.
    1.9/7
  • 3.
    1.7/6
  • 4.
    1.4/5
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.4/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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