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Let's Play Ball

At the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) 's Emerging Technologies conference in Houston this week, leading cable engineers are not just debating the next hot cable gadgets, gizmos, and services. Much more importantly, they're spending a fair amount of time debating the successor to the already overplayed "triple-play bundle" phrase.

In the conference's opening session yesterday, Ethernet inventor Robert Metcalfe shot down the "quad play" term advanced by many for the packaging of voice, video, data, and mobile services. Metcalfe, now general partner of Polaris Venture Partners , argued that one key problem with the idea of a quad play is that there's "no such thing in baseball."

Metcalfe suggested bypassing quad play altogether for the concept of "quintuple play." He sees that bundle as consisting of voice, video, data, mobile, and home automation service, which he sees as a killer app.

Fair enough. But, last time we checked, there was no such thing as a quintuple play in baseball either. So what to do?

SCTE President/CEO John Clark favors the idea of "next play." In his opening remarks Wednesday, he contended that this phrase should work because "there's always a next play."

Not bad, John. But we can do better, cable and baseball fans. So take a swing by sending your suggestions here. We'll pass them along to the powers that be.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:15:39 PM
re: Let's Play Ball How about the xPlay? It is infinitely extensible and includes the x-box threat. ;)
CoolLightGeek 12/5/2012 | 3:15:38 PM
re: Let's Play Ball Duh!

Triple Play has a defensive connotation, it prevents scoring. Most successful marketing sports analogies are about scoring.

"Grand Slam" is the obvious baseball choice (unless of course, the comparison to Denny's breakfast is not viewed affectionately.)

If the extra add-ons and options for "scoring" with the "package" become more limitless than a handful, then a switch to a basketball analogy such as the "Wilt Chamberlin" may be more appropriate.
Lite Rock 12/5/2012 | 3:15:38 PM
re: Let's Play Ball Triple Play has a defensive connotation, it prevents scoring. Most successful marketing sports analogies are about scoring.

Ok the obvious next step toward scoring would be "Four Play" then if Mr. Big Shot Ethernet Boy wants a quintuple play we go to "Home Run"


CoolLightGeek 12/5/2012 | 3:15:37 PM
re: Let's Play Ball The other was to go is to analogize several teleinfo services from one SP as a package with one bill as equivalent to one place to buy your retail items and only pulling out your credit card once.

We can call it the "WalMart" !
Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:15:35 PM
re: Let's Play Ball From the great sport of Curling, we could adopt the term "eight-ender" that is used when a team scores the maximum possible number of points on a turn. At least that gets us up to an 8-service package. ;)
CoolLightGeek 12/5/2012 | 3:15:32 PM
re: Let's Play Ball "Hmmm... Anybody knows that sex sells better than sports"

Marketing an "orgy" to a typical american family of four wouldn't work in most cities... San Francisco?

Marketing an "orgy" to a frat house may be more successful: but then again- they usually try to get the service without paying for it.
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 3:15:32 PM
re: Let's Play Ball Hmmm... Anybody knows that sex sells better than sports

Cable TV & Internet is a 2-some

Cable TV, Internet, & Telephone is a 3-some

I suggest Cable TV, Internet, Telephone, Cell Phone, and Home Automation is an Orgy
Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:15:31 PM
re: Let's Play Ball Well, the logical first step in this particular nomenclature migration would of course be to shift from "quad play" to "foreplay." :)
sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:15:30 PM
re: Let's Play Ball re:"Well, the logical first step in this particular nomenclature migration would of course be to shift from "quad play" to "foreplay." :)"

But then no men would ever buy it.
Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:15:23 PM
re: Let's Play Ball Ha! Maybe six pack would be better then. :)
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