Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm in Miami at the annual NAPTE conference--a gathering of television programmers, producers and executives. Sports is a big topic here, and we just heard an address from one of the biggest players in media sports--NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker.

Zucker reinforced the importance of sports programming, telling the audience that the key in today's media world is to invest in quality content, because even the fanciest technology in the world is useless without it.

Zucker also praised NBC's Sunday Night Football program, which he called the number one show in all of television. He called the NFL one of the most important brands in television, especially because at a time when other ratings are down, the NFL is still going up. "You can't afford everything in television," he said, "but if you can afford anything, you afford the NFL."

The next five years, according to Zucker, will see content moving to mobile and other types of screens. He said the challenge for the industry is to figure out how to monetize that change and develop new business models. "We took a lesson from the music industry," he said. "They ignored the changes going; our philosophy is to try something different."

Zucker's last day as NBCU President/CEO is Friday; he is leaving the company (just bought out by Comcast) after 24 years.


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