Jeff Bewkes doesn’t fear that his company will be squeezed by Netflix’s growing desire for exclusive programming — a potential issue at Viacom where Netflix says it won’t renew their broad licensing deal at the end of this month. “We thought that would happen,” Bewkes told analysts today. “It’s a good trend for us….We think we’re in the catbird seat.” Time Warner is already selective about the shows it licenses. Execs add that as much as 35% of the revenue from streaming deals it made in Q1 won’t involve Netflix including a “considerable portion” from outside the U.S. “We’re in active negotiations with all of the major players,” Bewkes says. While streaming revenues are meaningful, they’re just part of a much bigger business: Subscription VOD providers last year accounted for more than $350M in Time Warner’s revenues — a figure that execs expect to grow in 2013. That’s still just about 10% of the company’s TV syndication, although it doesn’t include what Bewkes calls “pretty significant” sales from The CW Network, which Time Warner shares with CBS. Bewkes also says that he doubts many pay TV viewers will ditch HBO in favor of Netflix as the streaming service becomes more popular. “These are very complementary things” for people who are willing to pay extra for TV programming, he says.
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