@ NCTA: Closing Super Session: TW’s Bewkes Causes A Stir By Urging Widespread, Ad-Supported Network


Time Warner has so many dfferent programming experiments in the works I’m not sure any one person knows them all. Jeff Bewkes, president and COO, may have added one more at Tuesday’s closing session when he urged programmers to offer full slates of ad-supported VOD, not just cherry-picked programs. Think HBO on Demand with ads. Networks would license the rights. Comcast president and COO Steve Burke Roberts, also on the panel, applauded the idea and asked him if he’d start with Time Warner.
TWC already has its own twist on VOD in the works — a subscription package with the top-rated network shows. The two wouldn’t necessarly preclude one another but they are very different models that could be seen as conflicting.
Bewkes elaborated a little in an impromptu press gathering after the session: “Why can we have VOD capability for all the networks with ad support? … In order for the cable operators to offer all these networks, take NBC — to offer it on demand — they’re going to have a copyright license to do that and one way they can do it is by saying we’ll keep the advertising support. The other way is to say we’ll take the ads out and somebody will have to pay.”
We’ll have more on this. It’s tempting to think “game changer” but this is nowhere near execution. It is, however, a conversation starter and sometimes those can be just as good. It’s also a way of looking at the kind of impact Bewkes can have as TW’s #2.
Related: TWC, Nets Considering Ways To Package Popular Shows For SVOD Or PPV VOD

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