Yes, Virginia, there will be an International CES in 2009, even amid the economic shocks of this fall.
That was the word from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) during its annual CES Unveiled media event, here, last Tuesday where Gary Shapiro, CEA president/CEO, and Karen Chupka, events and conferences senior VP, outlined plans for the show.
Content was the news at the event with Shapiro highlighting decisions by Sony Pictures Television (SPT) and NBC Universal to repeat their major commitments to CES in 2009.
Shapiro was pleased to report almost 9,000 executives from the broadcast and entertainment industries attended the 2008 CES and they are expected to return in January.
Among other news items from CEA on the show were the following:
Updated consumer research by CEA the weekend of Nov. 8-9 confirmed its previous survey (TWICE, October 27, p. 1 and p. 14 of this issue) that there will likely be a 3.5 percent increase in CE sales during the holiday season.
CEA revealed its International CES Best of Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering award honorees. (See story on p. xx.)
Shapiro said that "new or returning" companies will be exhibiting at the 2009 show, including Cisco, Iomega, Mattel, Verizon Wireless, Nokia, T-Mobile and others.
Chupka revealed that the 2009 show should be the third largest in CES history with 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space, 130,000 attendees from 140 countries and 2,700 exhibitors.
But content was the story last night. SPT will showcase its wide variety of content across all platforms at CES. Additionally, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of "Jeopardy!", SPT will film daily episodes of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" on a specially built set on the CES show floor.
"CES 2008 was the best decision we have ever made. We are excited about 2009," said Steve Mosko, president, Sony Pictures Television. SPT will record 11 "Jeopardy!" episodes during the show on a 16,000-square-foot stage that will become the new set for the game show, in front of an audience of 600. And Mosko promised "other surprises" at the show from SPT.
"We embrace CES as a technology company and an entertainment company," Mosko commented
NBC Universal will again be CES' "Official Broadcast Partner." Select NBC Universal broadcast and cable entities will broadcast live from the CES exhibition floor.
"We are thrilled to return for a second time as the exclusive broadcast partner at the International CES," said George Kliavkoff chief digital officer, NBC Universal. "Our consumers demand access to our content anytime, anyplace and on the platform of their choice — be it a laptop, mobile phone, portable media player or yes … a television. What better way to drive that message home than having a major presence right in the heart of all the action at CES."
Among the programs and stars broadcasting from the NBC Universal booth during CES will be "The Today Show," the "NBC Evening News with Brian Williams," "Access Hollywood," and financial expert Maria Bartiromo, among others.
And speaking of content, Noel Lee, "head monster" of Monster Cable announced that its annual CES party would mark the 30th birthday of the company. To celebrate that milestone Lee said that Diana Ross will be appearing at the party, which is set for the Paris Hotel on January 9.
CEA reported that new at CES will be the Global Media Awards, a program jointly produced by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and CEA, focusing on technology and content programming.
Additionally, the Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards will take place for the third year at CES, honoring achievements in two areas: Science & Technology for Television and Advanced Media Technology. Honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 7.
Chupka reviewed the previously reported CES keynoter lineup (TWICE, October 27, p. 4), reiterated that construction at the Las Vegas Convention Center has all but stopped and will not be a problem at the show and mentioned that there will be more than 20 specific TechZones on the show floor, the Silver Summit, focused on technology for baby boomers, and Kids @ Play for the other side of the age spectrum.
For more details on International CES 2009 visit www.cesweb.org.