Advanced Television

TW announces HBO Go

April 6, 2009

Ignoring Bob Iger's dismissal of the online subscription model, Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes unveiled HBO Go, a broadband complement to the premium network only for subscribers to the linear service.

“We’re all being too slow,” Bewkes said. “We should put up all our networks on the Internet, out on broadband right now. Get it out on home screens, broadband screens, put it on the Hulus and YouTubes, but only if people are subscribing to the video plant.”

Subscribers will access HBO Go through their cable provider Web site. From there, they would be able to view movies and series and set up their own watch lists.

The other cable network executives appeared to support the Bewkes model.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said that cable networks have to find a way to monetize the Web, before consumers begin to expect to get their content for free.

“The fact is with free content, people are used to it being free on the Internet,” Murdoch said. “Nobody is making any real money from the Web except search. We have to monetize it.”

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, however, expressed some concerns about the TV Anywhere model for traditional ad- supported cable networks.”That anywhere model works well for Showtime or Epix,…When you’re relying on an affiliate revenue stream, it becomes a more complex issue.”

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