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Huggers to highlight promising areas during IBC2009 keynote

As broadcasters confront a host of challenging business developments and rapidly changing technological advances touching the very core of their business, IBC2009 will offer perspective and guidance during the gathering’s keynote address Friday Sept. 11 to be delivered by Erik Huggers, BBC director of future media and technology.

“Identifying Growth Areas in the Broadcasting Industry” will address the gamut of electronic media. Huggers will draw on his background to address the breadth of opportunities available to broadcasters. Prior to joining the BCC, Huggers helped establish Windows Media in Europe while working at Microsoft. Before his Microsoft tenure, Huggers worked on interactive media at European production company Endemol Entertainment.

While at the BBC, Huggers has overseen the development of the iPlayer catch-up service, for radio and television, which has proven to be highly popular among consumers. With 256 million TV program downloads in its first full year of operation, the catch-up service has set the bar for other broadcasters worldwide when developing their online presence.

The keynote and its focus on finding new areas of growth for the broadcast industry, as well as Huggers’ background with online media, fit in with the special focus this year’s IBC conference will give to the business side of the broadcast industry. “We simply cannot bury our heads in the sand; we have to tackle the massive shifts in commercial balance,” said David Crawford, chairman of the conference committee. “These are driven by new technologies every bit as much as economic circumstances, so IBC is clearly the right forum for this debate.”

IBC2009 runs Sept. 10 through Sept. 15 at the RAI Center in Amsterdam.