Home >> March 2014 Edition >> Dubai’s CABSAT Turns 20
Dubai’s CABSAT Turns 20
By Andrew Pert, Show Director, CABSAT


As the leading professional content management event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), CABSAT has well-established roots as a conduit for facilitating and sustaining the industry’s regional growth.

With profit revenues from mobile penetration rates among the world’s highest, the rapidly increasing deployment of satellites, plus the tremendous growth of Free-to-Air (FTA) TV channels and huge investments in locally-produced media content, MEASA is viewed as a major growth territory for international production houses.

For two decades, CABSAT has opened a door for international players to access the region. The event has provided global heavyweights with a dedicated platform to drive technical innovations and explore business opportunities in a regional media and broadcasting market projected to be worth more than US $ 2 billion by 2015, according to the International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers (IABM).

As our landmark 20th showcase prepares to roll-out at Dubai World Trade Centre from March 11th to the 13th, we’ve upped our own ante and inked a strategic alliance with the USA’s National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB Show). The accord will see the world’s two biggest industry show brands in their field collaborate on a world-class content creation, management and delivery conference program titled: ‘Transforming Broadcasting in the Always Connected Digital World’.

The program will cover the latest trends, technologies and innovations in the global broadcasting and media market and we’re particularly excited about leveraging NAB Show’s unparalleled State-side network of industry-shapers, which helps deliver everyone at the show the age-old adage of the exhibitions industry: Bang for buck.

The two-day conference agenda will focus primarily on practical opportunities and next generation technology advances in an industry where leading international broadcasters and content providers are seeking customized solutions to capture—and subsequently monetize—global audiences which are ‘plugged in’ to an increasingly diverse array of connected digital devices and smart phones. 

The Dubai, UAE, skyline at night.

In all, we’re looking at 20 hours of rich conference content—from daily keynote speeches, state-of-the-art industry reports and technical programs, to panel discussions focusing on the latest trends and developments shaping global and regional markets. 

We’re anticipating more than 200 professionals and decision-makers representing the MENA region’s leading content creators, managers and distributors of entertainment and news content will convene for the conference. Why? Simple: The industry is facing up to a global transition to digital broadcasting and striving to leverage developments affecting every aspect of the digital media and entertainment landscapes.

The challenge, as said previously, is creating potential avenues to monetize multi-platform services. Our 16 keynote and interactive sessions will be led by global and regional experts who are armed with solutions and answers on how to implement and drive forward winning multi-platform, multi-screen digital entertainment and news content strategies. Attendees will learn from global and regional operators on how to best deliver immersive IPTV, video, mobile, online and interactive entertainment experiences that accelerate the adoption of new media platforms across Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. 

Headline topics will include: ‘Challenge & Opportunities with New Media,’ ‘Taking on the 4K Challenge’, ‘The Convergence of Telecommunications and Entertainment,’ ‘Impact of Multiplatform Content Delivery in Live Sports Production,’ ‘Data Storage and Analytics,’ ‘Maximizing Your Viewership and Commercial Return With Video,’ and ‘Shifting Revenue in a Big Data World.’

Some of the biggest names in the business are taking part, including Sam Nicholson, CEO, Stargate Studios—the keynote speaker on day two— and a top-tier line-up of influential international industry figureheads including Sanjay Raina, General Manager, FOX International Channels; Carlos Salim Tibi, Founder & CEO, ICFLIX; Raffaele Annecchino, Executive VP for VIACOM International; Cliff Nelson, CEO, My-HD; Chris O’Hearn, General Manager, Emirates Media Measurement Company; David Butorac, CEO, OSN; David Hanson, Director of Digital, OSN; Nick Grande, Managing Director, Channel Sculptor; Dennis Lehtinen, Head of Pay TV, Abu Dhabi Media; Atul Phadnis, CEO, WhatsOn Group; Sumo Dutta, Country Head - Middle East, Africa & Pakistan , STAR Group; Jeff Youssef, Associate Partner, Oliver Wyman & Representative from Dubai Film and TV Commission; Paul Baker, Executive Director, Intaj twofour54; Mark Sanger, editor of the Oscar-nominated Hollywood hit, Gravity, discussing post-production techniques with Avid; Michele Munson, CEO Aspera presenting a special case study on Netflix, and additional representatives from Piksel, Google, VIACOM, the UK’s Channel 4, Grass Valley, CNBC and other leading regional and International broadcasters.

The CABSAT 2013 show floor. Photo courtesy of DWTC.

Paying conference delegates will also exclusively receive a “State of the Industry Report” delivered by the conference’s official Knowledge Partner, Frost & Sullivan, a document which will give great insights into the region’s burgeoning ‘TV-Everywhere’ market.

Ultimately, we believe the partnership with NAB Show brings us tremendous value. Vitally, it also dually achieves and enhances CABSAT’s wider modus operandi: To provide context for major international content management providers who are eyeing opportunities to accelerate the future development of MEASA’s content management markets, and to deliver the greatest return on investment for our global exhibiting communities by increasing their engagement with MEASA’s major industry players. It makes sense and we can’t wait to get started.

Elsewhere, the CABSAT GFV Summit will focus on a key issue facing the Middle Eastern and North African satellite communications and broadcasting environment—interference.

A subject of growing concern to the satellite industry and its customers worldwide, interference is an ever increasing problem across the MENA region. The satellite industry, together with its customers, as well as global and international agencies, is exploring creative collaborations to address challenges and identify and develop solutions. 

The two-day Summit will feature sessions examining the current state-of-play with a comprehensive profile of identified problems, evaluating potential solutions and setting-out a blue-print for where we go next in the MENA region and around the world to defeat interference.

The satellite side of the show continues to be a strong performer and we’ve secured a stellar line-up of world-class regional and international exhibitors for this year: Al Yahsat, Arabsat, Es’hailsat, Eutelsat, Gulfsat, HarrisCaprock, Intelsat, O3b, Noorsat, and SES.

The CABSAT show floor. Photo courtesy of DWTC.

CABSAT will also feature a range of additional new features, technology demonstrations, knowledge exchange platforms and themed exhibiting zones—such as the Content Delivery Hub and the Content & Studio Hub—in 2014.

With 20 of the region’s most innovative providers exhibiting from turnkey pods, the Content Delivery Hub is a big draw for us this year. The area will feature an open-air presentation theatre for live demonstrations that will examine Over The Top (OTT) technologies. This is a hot topic and CABSAT, once again, is leading the regional discussion and pushing the global envelope.

Additionally, the Content and Studio Hub—providing live-feeds, alerts, blogs, social media updates and onsite interviews—will be streamed throughout the show via CABSAT TV.

The successful CABSAT Global Meetings Program, sponsored by O3b, is an exclusive platform for exhibitors and pre-registered visitors and has returned to this year’s event. The program, which includes access to an online matchmaking tool, personal assistance from CABSAT’s in-house business team, and three pre-scheduled meetings with potential partners, puts show attendees right in front of a targeted, senior community of MEASA’s leading content management buyers, partners and suppliers. This program is a proven success and offers tremendous insights into revenue generation.

There’s also a new networking concept this year called CABSAT Connect. This invitation-only event will occur at one of Dubai’s most famous hotels—the Jumeirah Beach Hotel—and will witness 400 industry decision-makers at C-Level and Director Level discussing industry news against the iconic backdrop of the opulent Burj Al Arab.

In all, CABSAT 2014 is expecting to welcome visitors from 110 countries, with more than 900 exhibitors in attendance, for three days of what promises to be the greatest CABSAT outing to date. We believe we have all aspects of the broader media and satellite spheres covered including dedicated exhibitors representing numerous market segments: Acquisition & Production; Pro / Broadcast Audio; Management Systems; Post-Production; Content and Communication; Distribution and Delivery; Satellite and Communications and, all-new—Connected Devices.

For more information, or to register for CABSAT 2014, visit http://www.cabsat.com/Content/CABSAT-Registration