Mar 06, 2006 (CableFAX Daily/Access Intelligence via COMTEX) -- The triple play, all IP networks and endless shanks of schweinfleisch were all the rage at the European cable show ECCA in Vienna last week. Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries offered a refreshingly candid view on the competitive landscape and Liberty's aggressive expansion plans. But European cable's greatest relief may have come from the absence of any EU Ministers delivering regulatory briefs that in the past have driven many to excessive drink. Still, it's the parties that make this event so memorable, we're told. Host cabler UPC Kabel Wien sprang for a surreal evening's entertainment at the city's elegant RatsHaus, where a local, yodeling Celine Dionne clone introduced such varied acts as the Viennese ballet, the only "official" Falco impersonator and perriwigged opera singers. The finale managed to transpose Orson Welles' classic "The Third Man," with its haunting bouzouki theme, into a cruise ship- like song and dance with couples in trenchcoats cavorting to the lyrics "He was the third man, no not the second man, yes the third man." Next year, the conference seems headed for Munich where no doubt everyone will still be dressed in black, smoking incessantly and steeped in cable gemutlichkeit.
CableFAX Daily, Vol. 17, No. 43
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