Aereo may not be the threat broadcast networks are making it out to be, because it doesn’t have a compelling value proposition for consumers, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said at the Financial Times Digital Media Conference 4/25 in London.
Speaking on a panel there, Bewkes said subscription TV businesses continue to do well and see more upside in the digital age. He also said that his company continues to grow the financials of its TV business at a time when all the best content is developed for TV, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Bewkes noted that the bigger a subscription business gets, the more growth momentum tends to slow down. “Every time you add subs, your disconnects grow,” he said. “Once you get into the 20 millions, it is very hard to go as fast as before…maybe it will get to 40 million. HBO is at 110 million worldwide.”
Asked about Aereo Bewkes said: “Nobody’s going to buy it. I don’t think they have much of a proposition.” Aereo hasn’t disclosed how many subscribers it has.
Explained Bewkes: “If the law allows it, which I don’t think they will, they will offer free-to-air channels. They are free already. All they are doing is charging $8 per month to get them on-demand.” Also, broadcast networks’ share of total TV viewership has declined over the years, he also highlighted.
RBR-TVBR observation: Interesting thoughts from Bewkes. Since he doesn’t really have a dog in this fight, maybe he has the separation necessary to step back and take in the full picture in a way broadcasters are as yet unable.