TV Increases Presence At CES

2008 International CESBig TV companies pursuing direct connections with new digital consumer platforms will again show off their wares at the International Consumer Electronics Show this January.

At a press conference this week, show officials announced that NBC Universal will again be the official broadcast partner for the event, while Sony Pictures Television will return as an exhibitor. The conference takes place Jan. 8-11.

NBC will also have a spot on the convention floor displaying its digital programming wares from its wide-ranging businesses in television, cable, film and the Internet. Three NBC Universal shows will broadcast live from the floor of the convention: NBC Network's "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "The Today Show" and NBC's syndicated entertainment magazine show "Access Hollywood," as well as CNBC's Maria Bartiromo.



Sony Pictures Television will make a return visit, showcasing its syndicated program. It will film 11 episodes of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" on a specially built set on the CES show floor next to Sony Pictures Television's booth. Sony's consumer products' division has had a long association at the CES show.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, who will start his own Sony-distributed syndicated TV show in the fall, will be at the Sony booth. Oz is a regular on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and the "Dr. Oz" show will be produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions.

Ever since TV companies started running their shows on digital platforms, such as the Internet and iTunes, many have begun looking to make more direct connections with their consumers through new technologies. As a result, the attendance of TV business executives has grown over the last few years.

CES officials said 9,000 executives from the broadcast and entertainment industries attended the event in 2008--which rivals the attendance number of the National Association of Television Program Executives meeting--a traditional annual U.S. TV programming conference, which also occurs in January in Las Vegas. As one of the biggest business conferences in the U.S., CES is expected to attract 130,000 attendees overall in 2009.

Although consumer buying confidence has waned dramatically over the last several months, Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, has said its fourth-quarter forecast still estimates a 3.5% increase in consumer electronic sales.

A number of special digital entertainment/advertising sessions will take place at the event, including Billboard's Digital Music Live, P2P Media Summit, CES Mobile Entertainment, CES Game Power and the CES Reinventing Advertising Conference.

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