Albert Cheng Roundtable Breakfast

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
8:15 am to 9:30 am
Los Angeles


Video clip 1:  Albert Cheng and his team at Disney/ABC Television Group were charged with developing an app for the iPad before they had even seen it.

Video clip 2:  Albert Cheng of Disney/ABC Television Group organized his team so that it was small and agile, like a "Sillicon Valley start-up."

Video clip 3:  Albert Cheng of Disney/ABC Television Group describes his "use-case" test for developing new products and services. 

 


Interviewed by Cynthia Littleton, Deputy Editor, Variety 

As Executive Vice President, Digital Media, for the Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG),  Albert Cheng is charged with general management and strategic oversight of digital media, as well as development of ancillary revenue streams for Disney/ABC Television Group’s diverse portfolio of broadcast and cable networks, including ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Daytime, ABC Family, Disney Channel, and SOAPnet. To that end, he leads a team that oversees product development, marketing and operations for the Group’s digital media content platforms, including video-on-demand, broadband, web-based, and mobile platforms, as well as interactive television technologies.

With the release of the ABC Player app this year, Cheng and the Disney/ABC Television Group added another first to their array of technical innovations, becoming the first network to offer ad-supported full episodes on the iPad. Other DATG firsts include being the first to offer full episodes on iTunes (October 2005), first to stream ad-supported full episodes online (May 2006), first to offer full episodes on demand on a mobile platform (w/Sprint, May 2007), the first to stream episodes online in true 720p HD (Fall 2007), and the first to offer expert and user commentary with full episodes online (Fall 2009).

Cheng and the Disney/ABC Television Group digital media team also support franchise management through the development of related new products. Additionally, he is responsible for creating new business ventures and partnerships in the digital media and online space, as well as providing additional negotiation planning and support for ABC broadcast affiliate relations in this emerging new area.

Cheng works closely with Disney and ESPN Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing to ensure the distribution and development of digital media services to cable, satellite, telcos and wireless providers. He also works in close partnership with the Disney/ABC Television Group’s marketing teams and the Media Networks’ strategy group, as well as other divisions within The Walt Disney Company developing these content platforms and consumer products.

Previously, Cheng served as senior vice president, Business Strategy and Development for Disney and ESPN Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing, where he was responsible for developing business strategies to increase distribution and generate revenue streams from new products and services. He also oversaw the development of interactive products related to Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group’s cable channels, which include ABC Family, Disney Channel, SOAPnet and Toon Disney.

In addition, Cheng worked in close association with Disney-ABC Cable Network Group and ESPN’s finance teams in sales forecasting and planning for all of the Company’s cable television assets.

From 2002 to 2004, Cheng served as senior vice president, Distribution Strategy and Operations for ABC Cable Networks Group, where he was responsible for developing distribution strategies, negotiating deals and creating economic plans for the Group. Additionally, he oversaw the development and implementation of the division’s video-on-demand strategy and interactive television applications. He joined ABC Cable Networks in October 2000 as vice president, National Accounts and Distribution Strategy.

Prior to joining The Walt Disney Company, Cheng was director, Distribution Strategy, for Fox Cable Networks Group. He was responsible for business development and implementation of three digital cable channels, now known as Fox College Sports. He also developed strategies related to digital cable and broadband services. Cheng also served as director, Business Development, at Fox/Liberty Networks, where he focused on business issues and analysis for Fox Sports Net and FX Networks.

Early in his career, he served as a business strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

Cheng earned a BS degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MBA from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. He resides with his wife in Los Angeles.

 

 


This event was exclusive to Media Council members and other invited guests. If you would like to find out about joining the Media Council in LA, contact Becky Levikow at 310-786-1033 or blevikow@paleycenter.org.