Time Warner CEO warns against 99-cent TV show rental deals with Apple

“Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes told British media execs that television is entering a second golden age of creativity and reward but warned against the danger of low-cost digital giveaways,” Mimi Turner reports for The Hollywood Reporter.

MacDailyNews Note: As Time Warner CEO, Bewkes oversees Time Inc., HBO, Turner Broadcasting (which includes CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network), Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.

Turner reports, “Speaking at the Royal Television Conference in London, Bewkes cautioned against deals with the likes of Apple and Amazon that undersold the value of blue-chip TV fare. ‘How can you justify renting your first-run TV shows individually for 99 cents an episode and thereby jeopardize the sale of the same shows as a series to branded networks that pay hundreds of millions of dollars and make those shows available to loyal viewers for free?’ he said.”

“Bewkes told the audience that, overall, the number of television viewers is growing, paid-television penetration is increasing and advertising and subscription revenues are headed north,” Turner reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How you get to be a CEO and not be able to do the math – very basic math – is beyond us.

44 Comments

  1. TW CEO is burying head in the sand. he does not know what multimedia means. I agree with the surfer, we the consumer must make it clear that we could always shop around for what we find as good value to us. I have yet to rent tv videos. I no longer watch rerun on branded ad supported tv stations he forgot how NBC is now the fourth place tv network. He does not know why CNN is no longer the top 24 hour news station. Alas he relies on surveys and focus groups and a times statistic lies.

  2. TW CEO is burying head in the sand. he does not know what multimedia means. I agree with the surfer, we the consumer must make it clear that we could always shop around for what we find as good value to us. I have yet to rent tv videos. I no longer watch rerun on branded ad supported tv stations he forgot how NBC is now the fourth place tv network. He does not know why CNN is no longer the top 24 hour news station. Alas he relies on surveys and focus groups and a times statistic lies.

  3. I have Time Warner here in L.A.and they have the most unintuitive cable TV box interface imaginable (where are you Apple?). Verizon and ATT have better interfaces for their cable system but naturally and conveniently for TW I can’t get them. There ought be a law that says multiple cable TV options must be available to consumers. Why does TW have to try harder if there’s no competition? WHAT’s their motivation? Not all companies are like Apple,who pretend the competition is breathing down their necks and keep improving their wares anyway. (Well, maybe the competition IS breathing down their neck, but of course to no avail.)

    I ordered the new Apple TV, to arrive in a few days. Tempted to drop kick TW outta here and install an HD Antennae for local channels (in better quality). There are better deals to be had for broadband and digital phone service once you untether yourself from those package deals, as with Time Warner. Cable has a lot to worry about…

  4. I have Time Warner here in L.A.and they have the most unintuitive cable TV box interface imaginable (where are you Apple?). Verizon and ATT have better interfaces for their cable system but naturally and conveniently for TW I can’t get them. There ought be a law that says multiple cable TV options must be available to consumers. Why does TW have to try harder if there’s no competition? WHAT’s their motivation? Not all companies are like Apple,who pretend the competition is breathing down their necks and keep improving their wares anyway. (Well, maybe the competition IS breathing down their neck, but of course to no avail.)

    I ordered the new Apple TV, to arrive in a few days. Tempted to drop kick TW outta here and install an HD Antennae for local channels (in better quality). There are better deals to be had for broadband and digital phone service once you untether yourself from those package deals, as with Time Warner. Cable has a lot to worry about…

  5. “television is entering a golden age of creativity” ??!!

    You’ve gotta be kidding!!! There are more and more crappy shows using untrained “talent” so they don’t have to pay actor’s rates – quiz shows, talent shows, amazing races, survivors, etc. Please excuse me while I chuck!

  6. “television is entering a golden age of creativity” ??!!

    You’ve gotta be kidding!!! There are more and more crappy shows using untrained “talent” so they don’t have to pay actor’s rates – quiz shows, talent shows, amazing races, survivors, etc. Please excuse me while I chuck!

  7. Last spring I cancelled my cable. It cost me $1900 a year. I did it partly because I’m out of the country so much that I wasn’t watching stuff nearly half the year. I also did it because of the 1000 channels that I had to pay for but never watched.

    I’m home for a few months before going away again. I have been watching all my favourite new programmes with my MBP hooked up to my 42″ HDTV. Here in Canada, at least, they major networks make virtually every programme available the day after broadcast. Amazingly, there is only one commercial added at the usual break times. Thirty seconds is hardly enough to jump up and refill my drink.

    I’m lovin’ it, though. I already pay for 60 GB of downloads on my internet bill. I use between 1 and 3 GB a day. I’m currently half of the way through my pay cycle and I’ve only used one third of my bandwidth.

    Lovin’ it!

    These studios and old-school network guys will never get it!

  8. Last spring I cancelled my cable. It cost me $1900 a year. I did it partly because I’m out of the country so much that I wasn’t watching stuff nearly half the year. I also did it because of the 1000 channels that I had to pay for but never watched.

    I’m home for a few months before going away again. I have been watching all my favourite new programmes with my MBP hooked up to my 42″ HDTV. Here in Canada, at least, they major networks make virtually every programme available the day after broadcast. Amazingly, there is only one commercial added at the usual break times. Thirty seconds is hardly enough to jump up and refill my drink.

    I’m lovin’ it, though. I already pay for 60 GB of downloads on my internet bill. I use between 1 and 3 GB a day. I’m currently half of the way through my pay cycle and I’ve only used one third of my bandwidth.

    Lovin’ it!

    These studios and old-school network guys will never get it!

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