Dennis Quinn, EVP-business development for Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, was as excited as I’ve heard him about a deal when we spoke by phone Monday night: “We want to be anywhere a consumer reaches out — not only CNN but Adult Swim, Nascar.com and TCM. … Our strategy for all these platforms is that we look at them as an opportunity to extend the brand, not necessarily to extend the programming. When Steve Koonin (president of TNT and TBS) looks at other platforms, he is not asking, ‘how can I bring ‘Law and Order’ but how can I extend drama among the video being offered?” He wants to sample groups, and not just reach out to current viewers.
Quinn, a video iPod convert, isn’t concerned about reports that most cell phone users aren’t into mobile video. He compares it to the moment when camera phones were introduced to little interest but have taken off as a reason people buiy handsets. “I think (3G) will begin to catch on; I’m not saying 100-percent penetration in the next two years.” As for watching on the phone, he’s already been pitched by a company that sells normal-looking eye glasses with a view that mimics a 54-inch screen.
“I think in aggregate what I’m excited about is Sprint is out there with their strategy and their offering, Verizon is out there with a slightly different strategy, different offerings … Every major carrier is out there in a very aggressive way, which gives us the opportunity to test almost three different business models.”