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THE CHANGING FACE OF TELEVISION TO BE TOPIC AT SPRING SkyFORUM Focus on HDTV and DVRs Will Explore Satellite’s Lead in Emerging Technologies

ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 29, 2003 – With the emergence of the digital video recorder and high-definition television, the multichannel universe has changed dramatically. These two promising technologies will the subject of in-depth panels during the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association’s Spring 2003 SkyFORUM, the satellite services industry’s top financial symposium, to be held on Tuesday, May 20 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

“DVR and HDTV: Changing the Face of Television,” a super session scheduled for the afternoon program of SkyFORUM, will feature two panels of industry leaders discussing the growth these products have seen to date, consumer trends and future business plans anticipated in the months and years ahead.

Preceding the super session will be the “Technology Visionary” panel with an overview of present and future satellite and multichannel services technology featuring Robert Zitter, Senior Vice President, Technology Operations, HBO and William Mengel, Director, Research and Innovation, Emerging Technologies Projects, Thomson Inc. This part of the program will be moderated by Lon Rains, Vice President, Trade Publishing Editor, Space News.

The first sub-panel, “The DVR Update,” will be moderated by Allan Thygesen, a managing director in The Carlyle Group’s San Francisco office, specializing in U.S. venture investment opportunities. Panelists will discuss how DVRs are expected to change the competitive landscape, and will include:

  • Brad Beale, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Advanced Services, DIRECTV, Inc.

  • Gene Falk, Senior Vice President, Digital Media, SHOWTIME Networks Inc.

  • Mike Ramsay, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, TiVo, Inc.

  • Michael Schwimmer, Senior Vice President, Programming, EchoStar Communications Corp.

  • Que Spaulding, President of Distribution, Starz Encore Group LLC

  • Dave Spomer, Vice President, Digital Decoder Management, Thomson Inc.

Phillip Swann, president and publisher of, will moderate the second sub-panel, “The HDTV Update.” With many of today’s leading programmers now using HDTV to give them a competitive edge, a group of leading providers will discuss the success they are already seeing with HDTV. Swann’s panelists include:

  • Sean Bratches, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, ESPN

  • Martin Franks, Executive Vice President, CBS Television

  • Clint Stinchcomb, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Communications

  • David Zaslav, President, NBC Cable

“DVRs and high definition are the hottest technologies in TV today, and so we have assembled two expert panels to look at how these exciting trends will shape the future of the satellite industry,” said Clay Mowry, president of Arianespace, Inc. and SkyTRENDS chair. “Discussions like these are the hallmark of SkyFORUM, keeping its tradition of being the satellite industry’s premier event.”

The bi-annual SkyFORUM, hosted by SBCA and its SkyTRENDS partners, brings together Wall Street’s analyst and investment community with top satellite, telecom and entertainment industry executives to discuss current issues and upcoming trends. The program will include live demonstrations of emerging consumer product and services technologies, keynote addresses, panel discussions, the most current consumer research conducted by The Taylor Group, and an onstage interview with DIRECTV Chairman and CEO Eddy Hartenstein. In addition, recent global research on the satellite industry and the competitive multichannel video providers market will be featured.

Other panels scheduled for the spring SkyFORUM include:

  • Satellite Radio: Tuning In to a National Audience

  • Straight from the Street: Satellite’s Leading Analysts Speak Out

  • Satellite Broadband: A Look At Consumer and Commercial Applications

Additional information and registration for SkyFORUM can be found on the SBCA web site or by contacting the SBCA office at (800) 541-5981.

SkyFORUM was developed to create a higher awareness of the satellite industry among the financial and investment communities, and the media. SkyTRENDS is the SBCA’s market research, data collection and reporting program for the satellite services industry. SkyTRENDS is a committee of the SBCA and is directed by SBCA’s SkyTRENDS partners with assistance from Media Business Corp.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association ( is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry.  It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, audio, data, music, voice, interactive and broadband services.  The SBCA is composed of DBS, C-band, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite service providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry.