HBO‘s online platform could also offer videos from Time Warner‘s Turner networks, Warner Bros, “and, frankly, other networks,” CEO Jeff Bewkes told analysts today. “Should offerings be determined for consumers based on what a company owns?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s not how consumers arrange their dial….We’re anticipating people might want more than that.” The Time Warner chief says that HBO is “investing in top talent, software developers in Seattle” to improve on what’s already “a very good consumer experience.” Fox’s aborted effort to acquire Time Warner was driven, in part, by a desire to create its own centralized online service.
This was part of Bewkes’ theme that Time Warner has lots of growth options, including in digital. To that end, he’s “not philosophically opposed” to the idea of teaming up with Dish Network’s planned personal streaming service — one that would cost less than the pay TV bundle, but have fewer channels and would only be available to individuals, not entire households. “We just have to believe it will be additive to the overall situation,” Bewkes says . A lot will depend on its advertising model and the quality of service. Disney was first to sign on and, yesterday, A+E Networks unveiled a deal with Dish. While Bewkes doesn’t want to be pinned down on this yet, they’re taking “directionally the right philosophical approach.”