Our Team Blog

Big Mouths Clash in the South (Avner Ronen vs. Mark Cuban at SXSW)

On March 12th at 5pm I will be debating Mark Cuban about the future of TV at the SXSW conference in Austin.

Mark and I had a little back-and-forth in March of 2009. A year has passed, some stuff has changed, a lot has stayed the same. We decided it could be interesting to debate the issues in front of a live audience. SXSW was a perfect choice. It is on Mark’s home turf of Texas, but the attendees are Internet people.

We will debate the viability of the Internet as a source for consuming video entertainment vs. offerings from Cable, Sat and IPTV operators. We have an opposing point of view on almost every issue.

I would like to officially claim the position of underdog in this debate. Here is why:

  • He is Mark Cuban.
  • He owns the Dallas Mavericks. I get excited when I get bleacher seats for a Knicks game.
  • He was on Dancing with the Stars. I can’t even get slow dancing right.

Though if things get physical I think I can take him out. He didn’t show real skills in his fight with Sheamus (see below), and I was a programmer in the Israeli Defense Force. I feel pretty confident about this one.

If you are attending SXSW this year then I hope you’ll be able to attend the debate. Not sure whether it will be broadcast online, but we’ll share the link here if it is.

February 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

29 Responses to “Big Mouths Clash in the South (Avner Ronen vs. Mark Cuban at SXSW)”

  1. Rulo says:

    Hahaha, Interesting battle, Good luck!

  2. I'm oddly intrigued by this.

  3. Andreas says:

    Everyone loves an underdog! Avner FTW :)

  4. Dave says:

    Avner…if things get physical, he has a replacement hip…just go for that! :) Actually, I am really looking forward to this…Cuban is a really, really smart guy and if you can show him that you know what you are talking about, having him in your corner can be a HUGE benefit for Boxee…

  5. Greg Battle says:

    I love everything about this matchup.


    Secret Weapon: talk about the lack of an a la carte pricing model for cable - the pricing policies on cable are absurd and restrictive.

    • Eyal says:

      but that's a decision thing. it's not technological, They can change it when they feel the need to

    • avner ronen says:

      a-la-carte is what sparked the debate. it is mostly up to the studios to decide whether they stay with the existing bundle or not. for some it makes sense and for others it would be terrible. so i think we'll see different approaches from the media companies.

  6. Ben says:

    Best of luck!

  7. thesoze says:

    I got your back Avner (Esp if I am a beta tester for the Boxee Box, wink wink)

    I await the battle!

  8. Eyal says:

    I got your back Avner, I was a non-officer intelligence sergeant in the IDF.

  9. Melody says:

    Been waiting a long time for this. Go show the big dogs what we Internet folk are made of!

  10. Tom says:

    can't wait! this will be a real face-off.. i still think "South by Slug-Fest" should have been the name for it!!!

  11. Mark says:

    If the debate isn't broadcast online, then Mark Cuban has already won.

  12. DrewPeifer says:

    Kick his ass, Avner!

  13. Johnny Hugel says:

    I don't get to town till the evening, but hopefully I'll be able to find the afterparty!

  14. Taylor says:

    Cable companies are losing customers, because they don't wan't to pay $50+ a month when they don't watch 90% of the channels. In Salt Lake City Utah the only way to watch Utah Jazz NBA team is on Fox Sports Utah, only on cable. That is really the ONLY thing on cable worth watching for me (i like to watch PBS). I would pay a small fee around $7 a month to watch the Jazz games at home. But I would rather watch it in a bar or restaurant than pay $50 a month to Comcast. And that is what I do (also I get internet free in my apartment building.) You could buy a ticket to see each game live than what it costs to pay Comcast.

  15. Andrew Carre says:


  16. Steve says:

    Step on his feet when you slow dance. That'll teach him who should lead! ;-)

  17. JD says:

    As a Mavs fan and a Boxee fan, I am torn. At least Boxee has never lost me money! But I will never give up on the Mavs. This is difficult.

  18. ModdTaco says:

    Haha. Gotta love it. Get to the end of your post to discover the wonderful "Your not in America. You can't watch online TV." message. Canada is so backwards.

  19. Monte Hill says:

    Who is Avner Ronen?

  20. mr t says:

    Comcast's recent purchase of NBC-Universal should add something to the mix, now that the largest (by us restriction law) US-cable operator owns all the major pieces in the puzzle: content creation, distribution, broadcast, telco pipes, etc. Let's not forget a stake in hulu as well.

  21. יצחק says:

    כנס בו אחי

  22. kamm says:

    Mark Cuban is a rather pathetic, silly fool - it's beyond me why people give a flying fuck when someone as clueless as him posts some idiotic blurb somewhere defending his business interests against every logical arguments of the world…

    I like that he hired Dan Rather, that was a very good move and I liked the way he pushed HD content - but then I remember he first refused to sell it to satellite providers… a typical stupid, idiotic dick move.

    Seriously: he made his fortune simply riding a bubble, nothing else - he is not even a particularly smart guy, he never invented anything, heck, he didn't even create anything original, he is a freakin' cable channel operator, a mini-Time Warner, nothing more, nothing less. let's stop giving him more creds than he deserves.

  23. David I says:

    Hilarious. I'll watch.

  24. [...] CEO Avner Ronen just announced he is squaring off against HDNet chairman, Dallas Mavericks owner, and sometime-dancer Mark Cuban in a public debate [...]