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Time Warner’s Cable Debate Spills Out

“[T]he long-term future of cable, as the Internet emerges as a viable venue for watching TV, is murky.”

That’s the word from a Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) covering Time Warner’s interest in reducing its stake in cable, possibly to free up resources for internet acquisitions.

Cynthia Brumfield at IP Democracy reminds us of this Advertising Age article from just yesterday, in which Time Warner President-COO and assumed CEO-elect Jeff Bewkes is quoted as saying cable will outlast VOD snippets:

Mr. Bewkes stressed, of course, that he’s not knocking new media, but he does believe the hype about online video is too one-sided, and that cable video on demand has huge potential. “Media coverage of video on demand is overweighted to the internet,” he said. “The biggest audiences for video on demand are on TV screens now and in the future.”

It appears that there’s some dissension in the ranks, with the two takes differing drastically. While we of course have high hopes for internet distribution, it’s unclear that Time Warner could acquire the chops to do it right. Om rekindles memories of the AOL acquisition of 2000 at GigaOM:

If they did go down this route it would be ironic, not to mention, short sighted… Given Time Waffler’s track record, it would be akin to shooting themselves in the foot.

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