Time Warner: Comcast-NBC deal would benefit cable

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes has said a takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast would benefit the cable television industry.

Comcast’s ownership would make NBCU “reasonably progressive about the future on content” and help make its broadcast businesses “more viable,” Bewkes said at a media conference in New York.

Bewkes reiterated that his own company has no interest in a deal for NBC, citing the poor track record of big mergers and acquisitions in the media business.

Bewkes has spearheaded an industry-wide push to put cable programming on the Internet behind subscription walls in order to preserve the cable industry’s TV subscription model. Broadcasters such as NBC, who get little benefit from subscription revenue, have complicated that effort by putting premium programming online for free on popular video sites like Hulu, in which Comcast could gain a stake in a deal for NBC.

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