Cablefax The Magazine - May 2015 - 27

39. THE OBJECTOR
Rocco
Commisso
Title: Chairman &
CEO, Mediacom
Years in Cable: 29
Education: MBA,
Columbia University
40. SPEED RACER
Jerry Kent
Title: Chairman & CEO,
Suddenlink Communications
Years in Cable: 32
Education: BA, MBA,
Washington University in St. Louis
Best Advice: Customer service is
the cornerstone of success.
Known as an entrepreneur's entrepreneur,
Kent was inducted into The
Cable Center Hall of Fame in 2014,
just the latest of his many industry
41. THIS IS ESPN
Sean Bratches
Title: EVP, Sales & Marketing, ESPN
Years in Cable: 27
Education: Rochester Institute
of Technology
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less:
Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
Christine Driessen
Title: EVP/CFO, ESPN
Years in Cable: 30
Education: BS, Accounting,
Fordham University
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less:
Communicate with honesty and
conciseness.
Ed Erhardt
Title: President Global Customer
Marketing & Sales, ESPN
Years in Cable: 15
Education: BS,
St. John's University
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less:
Always be listening.
David Preschlack
Title: EVP, Affiliate Sales &
Marketing, Disney and ESPN
Cablefax: The Magazine
When Commisso weighs in on an industry issue,
he tends to weigh in big. So it was no surprise
he's been quite outspoken against the FCC's new
Open Internet regulations, promising to fight what
he termed " monstrous " reregulation of his core
business. The eighth-largest cable company has
pumped $7.3 billion into acquiring, upgrading
and expanding its broadband network that passes
nearly 3 million homes and businesses during
the past two decades, Commisso noted. Among
business developments, Mediacom has focused
heavily on government, education and healthcare
verticals, recently launching the Real Customer
Story Series of documentary-style programming
that shows how critical broadband is to the
survival of any business. ■
accolades. Suddenlink saw record
growth last year, posting its fifth
straight year of customer relationship
growth while continuing to post other
financial and operating results that are
among the best in the industry. Kent
also oversaw the launch of Operation
GigaSpeed, a $230 million, three-year
Media Networks
Years in Cable: 20
Education: BA, Economics,
Denison University
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less:
Focus on what's right, not who's right.
Bratches, who just announced his
departure from ESPN at year-end, has
unveiled new products to consumers
including WatchESPN, SEC Network
and Longhorn Network as a result
of six major MVPD renewals led by
Preschlack. New deals also brought
in Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and
Chromecast as streaming partners.
Under Bratches' direction creative
campaigns like " This is SportsCenter "
and the FIFA World Cup executions
including " Ian Darke Narrates a Date "
resonated big with fans, and 15 blue
chip advertisers were locked down for
the new college football bowl games
and the World Cup-all ratings wins
for the net. Driessen helped shape the
company's broadband strategy and
rights agreements with the NBA and
MLS amid a highly competitive sports
rights environment. And Erhardt's
customer marketing and sales savvy
guaranteed a successful Upfront, ad
May 2015
dollars for the inaugural College Football
Playoff and record-breaking crossmedia
revenues for the World Cup.
Bratches
The biggest innovation in cable
over the last year:
Consumer behavior
What's your favorite screen? SPF 30
The day we get multiplatform
measurement is the day I...
stop calling Artie Bulgrin.
Driessen
Favorite screen: iPad
The day we get multiplatform
measurement is the day I...
take our sales team out for a
champagne toast and give them a
new revenue goal!
If my office produced a viral
video, the background music
would be... " Life Is a Highway "
My favorite business/motivational
book: The Confidence Code
by Katty Kay and Claire ShipmanErhardt
If
I had a show on YouTube it
would be called... " Gripping, Grinning
and Filling the Jar "
Favorite screen: The best available
one with ESPN on it.
Multiplatform measurement?
That's coming very soon, we are in
a video impression based business.
Multiscreen impressions (led by
video) will be first to happen this
Upfront.
Preschlack
Should the industry embrace or
reject " virtual MSOs " and why?
Embrace, because they could
prove to provide an attractive
consumer offering.
If I ever found myself saying " Better
Call Saul, " I'd seek his advice
on... content protection language.
Favorite vacation spot: Nantucket
Favorite TV show as a kid:
" A-Team " ■
cablefaxmag.com
27
investment to bring 1-Gig Internet to
virtually all customers, and launched
its first 300-Meg service. Look for
his team this year to introduce 1-Gig
service to the first of the company's
residential customers, as well as a
new 50-Mbps flagship speed that
eventually will move to 100 Mbps
and beyond. Kent will also be in the
spotlight at reimagined cable show
INTX: The Internet & Television Expo,
which he is co-chairing.
Should the industry embrace
or reject " virtual MSOs " and
why? Virtual MSOs are causing
unbundling in front of our eyes, and
consumers will want our superior
broadband service for the best
experience. Bring them on!
I wish Congress would just... be
able to put politics aside, actually do
something on a bipartisan basis, and fix
the whole ridiculous Title II mess.
The technology that will most
benefit cable over the next year
is: It's all about broadband.
Favorite vacation spot: Beaver
Creek, CO, skiing with my family
Desert island album: Who's Next
by The Who ■
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Cablefax The Magazine - May 2015

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