Interviews

CABSAT 2019: A chat with Syed Ali

Syed Ali, Sales Manager, CABSAT 2019.

To be held between March 12- 14 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, CABSAT 2019, will bring together a host of new exhibitors and talent, in addition to launching an esports feature and workshops aimed at expanding its existing visitor database. In conversation with Syed Ali

Why CABSAT 2019?

According to the PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019, the MENA region is forecast to be the biggest global contributor to growth in the entertainment and media industry, growing at a rate of 11.5% per year and expected to reach $66bn in value by 2022. As new streaming services such as Spotify enter the MENA market – and content distributors like Netflix and Amazon Prime move into content creation – the industry is pushed to look at the rapidly evolving media ecosystem in a new light. Business models throughout the industry are being reinvented to unleash new revenue streams, and CABSAT 2019 will let these opportunities take centre stage.

The industry has had a bad year. Has this had an impact on the show? How have you tried to leverage other opportunities to make up for it?

As with any other show in the world, CABSAT is a reflection of the industry and how it is evolving. The entertainment and media industry is entering a stage of high audience expectation. Consumers are hungry for content, and distributors are tasked with meeting this frenzied demand. Esports is one such example; over the last two years, esports has moved to becoming a global phenomenon, in part driven by a number of broadcasters. Taking the sport from its online origins to a TV format has catapulted the genre into the mainstream, earning its reputation as the world’s fastest-growing sport. Market researcher Newzoo estimates that esports will become a $1.5-2.5bn business by 2020. With money pouring into esports and viewership numbers climbing, a growing range of companies and media are trying to understand the phenomenon and how they can hop aboard in order to connect with a highly desirable millennial fan base.

We will have an esports showcase, which will provide broadcasters, advertising and marketing agencies, premium brands and game developers a great opportunity to understand, learn and adapt these bite-sized formats. CABSAT will be launching this new sector, providing an opportunity to showcase and understand monetisation models. We are also hosting an invite-only networking event for high-level executives to create a marketplace for esports deals.

What are some of the other features at CABSAT 2019?

There’s Content Congress, which brings senior industry stakeholders and up-and-coming influencers to share insights on the benefits of disruptive thinking for broadcast not only for the region, but worldwide.

Our Digital Hub focuses on digital and OTT technologies that facilitate the delivery of video or digital content via internet protocol and purpose-built platforms for ‘anytime, anywhere’ consumption.

The GVF Satellite Summit takes place within the satellite area of the CABSAT exhibition, using a dedicated, purpose-built, centrally located meetings facility. The summit offers participating organisations – sponsors and speakers – higher visibility, a space for dialogue and opportunities for networking.

It will serve as a platform to address and analyse evolutionary and revolutionary transitions in satellite technologies, services, applications and markets. It will take place on the first two days and will be a free-to-attend event with presentation-based and panel discussion-focused content at an open-access theatre-style structure situated within the satellite exhibition halls.

The show will continue to support the photographic and imaging sector and feature the latest in photography, including cameras, lenses, equipment, video technology, studio equipment, lighting, data storage, digital imaging, graphic design, photofinishing and print.

New to this sector will be free educational seminars and interactive learning sessions by professionals via keynotes and panel discussions. Photography showcases will cover mobile photography and optimisation for social, photo editing/post-production, lighting, workflow and the perfect stage.

We also have the CABSAT Global Meetings Programme, a free-to-use networking service that allows registered visitors and exhibitors to search, connect and meet with key contacts at the show.

We see a lot of content initiatives in the industry now. Will this be reflected at CABSAT as well?

CABSAT 2019 will focus on content creation, production and distribution. While Content Congress will tap into the challenges and opportunities, such as developing Arabic content and understanding how social media is changing broadcasting – especially in the OTT space – the Content Market will provide unprecedented opportunities to buy and sell filmed entertainment and audio content and to network with the region’s major players.

Who are some of the partners CABSAT is working with this year?

CABSAT 2019 is working closer with the industry to deliver educational seminars: photography seminars in partnership with AMT and Fuji Film; Flix on 86 in partnership with UTURN and Mena.TV; Content Congress in partnership with twofour54 and Dubai Film Commission; and the Satellite Summit in partnership with the Global VSAT Forum. CABSAT will deliver an enhanced meeting programme to make the B2B meetings process easier and smoother this year.

Who are some of the new exhibitors at CABSAT this year?

We have Boya Audio & DSQN Investment, Cineom, Amphinicy Technologies, Alpha Technology, Biokal S.A, Riosat Elektronik, Teris Tech Trade, Theo Technologies, XMW Inc and Xtra-link FZCO, among several others.

Who are some of the speakers at the Content Congress this year?

The conference will discuss key challenges and opportunities in the region as it seeks to deliver innovative formats and effective, sustainable business models in the age of disruption. Some of the speakers include Sanjay Raina, Senior Vice President and GM, Fox International; John Saad, CEO – Middle East & North Africa, iflix; Ahmed Abdelhamid, Head of Programming & Acquisitions, Majid Kids TV; Ahmad Abdeltawab, Director, Scriptwriter & Chairman at QHD Media Production; film director Ehab Mohamed Rady; Nadine Samra, VP Digital Business MENA and Africa, Zee Entertainment; and Ghassan Saad, Head Video Services, du TV.

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