Jeff Bewkes talks HBO Now and Relationship with Cable Providers
With Time Warner’s flagship network, HBO, having just launched a new standalone streaming service called HBO Now, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes addressed investors at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. Bewkes assured them that cable providers are in general “on board” with the move to launch the controversial service. While many analysts believe that breaking HBO out of the cable bundle will lead to an increase in cord-cutting, Bewkes suggested that cable companies take advantage of the opportunity presented by HBO Now, perhaps packaging it with broadband services.
Despite the risk of upsetting pay-TV providers, the Time Warner CEO pushed those providers to do more to promote HBO, hinting that they were doing. Bewkes also took a shot at other streaming video on demand libraries, referring to them as “something that’s like HBO but not as good.” As the concept of television evolves, Time Warner is making the right moves by embracing streaming media and viewing it as an opportunity rather than an existential threat. Perhaps the media conglomerate can help persuade other members of the TV industry, like the cable providers, to do the same.