Advanced Television

Bewkes: ‘Cord nevers are the danger’

November 19, 2012

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes claims “cord cutting” is overstated and that the phenomenon is limited to a small segment of low income Americans. But he does see danger in “cord nevers,” younger people who never acquire cable in the first place. For them it is a question of different habits and expectations. Bewkes pointed out that the “cord nevers” are not receiving the best content and it will be interesting to see if this argument one day sways them into signing up.

Bewkes also told Reuters he was confident that the TV business is not threatened by the likes of Netflix or Amazon because these services are largely distribution platforms that don’t own the quality content audiences want to watch. He added that such platforms compete with each other and not with traditional TV companies.

“It’s a good thing to have more of them,” because multiple universal platforms are good for consumers because they mean the content industry “can’t be held hostage” to a given distributor.

In terms of cable economics, Bewkes says the real problem for the current model is the spiralling cost of sports “half of the population that doesn’t want sports is subsidizing the other half that does” because the former are forced to buy expensive sports channels they don’t want as part of their cable plans.

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