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Feevee meet thinking outside the box

ABTA to focus on cablers' triple play

RIO DE JANEIRO — ABTA 2005, one of Latin America’s top two feevee confabs and markets, opens Tuesday in Sao Paulo with a focus on issues related to the so-called triple play — the cablers’ offer of packages with telephony and broadband services in addition to TV.

Execs of local cablers, which are mostly unprofitable, see in the offer of additional services an opportunity to boost revenues. While most cablers already have broadband via cable modem, the commercial offer of telephony is still in the early stages.

Opening panel of the three-day ABTA will feature the president of Brazil’s TV and telecommunications regulatory agency Anatel, Elifas Gurgel do Amaral; the CEO of No. 1 cabler Net Servicos, Francisco Valim; and the general directors of the country’s top satellite operators Luiz Eduardo Baptista (DirecTV Brasil) and Ricardo Miranda (Sky Brasil).

DirecTV Latin America president Bruce Churchill and Liberty Global Latin America VP Maurício Ramos will lecture on the event’s second day. DirecTV Group executive VP Romulo Pontual and CNN Intl. anchorman Michael Holmes will speak on closing day.

The Brazilian Pay TV Assn. (ABTA), which hosts the annual event, expects 9,000-10,000 people to attend, up from 8,500 in 2004. ABTA 2005’s market area grew 38% from last year’s event. Expansion is a result of the sector’s moderate growth.

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