Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mark Cuban VS Michael Eisner... FINISH HIM!

This may have been the most interesting panel I have attended so far.

Very genius to pair the old media mogul visionary Eisner with the young Net savvy cynic Cuban.

The pair’s dynamic was very entertaining.  

The interview began with Cuban making some jabs at the Zuckerberg/Lacy interview.

He garnered an audience chuckle.

Cuban asked Eisner about his new enterprises and three person empire Vuguru.

Eisner began to elaborate in grand visionary fashion about using broadband as a new distribution stream and how it won’t eliminate old technology.

The subject of financing for his new Web entertainment came up frequently, and at one point he solicited Cuban for financing. Cuban said they would talk. Product placement was a big thing. Chrysler. Verizon. And some type of fruit drink. I missed the brand. Sorry.

Eisners comments on funding:

“When it first started we actually got paid for our content, now they want to own all the content.”

“Yes we pay for content. No we don’t pay for content. Maybe we’ll pay for content.”- Distributors.

“There is no unique business model.”

Eisner touted user generated material as the new Hollywood (my words, not his). He said he is looking for “people with cameras trying to do something intelligent.”

Then something about “99% of it is awful and 1% is amazing.”

“My theory is to find the people who are doing interesting things on their own”

Eisner projected that in five years Web content shows will be directly broadcast over broadband to the Television.

“In five years content on the Internet will be as important as content on satellite and television.”

He elaborated that it will be primary content. Just distributed differently. Made for big screen and small screen.

Mainly, it will be distributed through a broadband format.

Cuban is anti-broadband content and challenged Eisner’s Web content future with some technical questions and points.

Mainly, that people spend more on big TVs than computers, the average entertainment user does not know how to view their broadband content on their TV, and there is no universal technology for doing so yet.

As Cuban gets down to the nuts and bolts of broadband content and the hurdles, Eisner replies “That’s why I am into content cause I don’t understand any of that.”

Eisner definitely showed his visionary qualities and possibly his visionary blindness to reality, where Cuban can’t get over the reality. The two make for a very interesting conversation. 

As Cuban, or someone from the audience, I cannot recall now, brought up Chris Anderson’s Free Market idea Eisner, like the media mogul he is, vehemently denied it with comments such as  “I just don’t buy it”, “You should move to Russia”, and “This is not a socialist system.”

Overall, this would have made for a very interesting keynote and the lucky hundred or so of us in the too small room all left very satisfied with our 11am choice.


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