What if you turned on your TV, iPad or computer and had access to any content from any source – HBO, Netflix, NBC – anything? What if you could pay $25 a month to get 10 of your favorite television channels? What if you could watch your favorite movie on the same platform as your friend across the country while instant messaging through the same platform?
These are the three of the ideas presented by graduate students from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business at the 11th Annual Cable Apprentice Competition held March 3 at The Cable Center.
The students were asked to identify an opportunity for Charter Communications to capture the millennial market with a viable product. Eleven teams competed for three final spots to present their ideas to industry professionals. Adam Rosen, Brianne Sheridan and Deborah Firestone—all students in Daniels’ MS Marketing program—wanted to compete to build on a project they started in Fall Quarter.
“Last quarter we did a project on Comcast and learned about the cable industry,” Rosen said. “This gave us a chance to apply our skills, design a survey and tackle a real-world problem.”
This is the 11th year the Rocky Mountain Cable Association (RMCA) has organized a cable business-case competition. It offers students a way to become familiar with the cable industry and gives its members a chance to hear great ideas from graduate students, some of whom are millennials themselves.
“All three teams did a great job of thinking through the landscape,” said Ryan Schwertner, vice president of product marketing with Comcast. “Being a heritage cable provider, we’re not great at segmenting the market. A big part of this is how you message and manage the market in a very different way.”
Ultimately, the judges chose Team Protinus Consulting as the winners. Denver MBA students Jeremy Brown, Gray Byers and Joseph Polakovic presented a concept that would grant customers access to any content on any source via one platform. They will split the grand prize of $4,500.
The judges liked that Team Protinus suggested a new subscription and revenue model, and researched possible pricing models.
Since its inception, 15 “Cable Apprentice” competitors have secured permanent jobs at area cable industry companies following successful internships. Hiring companies included Charter Communications, Comcast, Sand Cherry Associates and Starz.