Bewkes follows well-worn programmer path to befriend Google

Cable-watchers who see Google TV (Nasdaq: GOOG) as the ultimate over-the-top threat to the established video entertainment space are not well versed in the history of competitive threats and how cable programmers react.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes views Google as more of an ally just as cable content companies viewed direct broadcast satellite as new market sources when those competitive threats started raining down competition in the form of DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH). Just as it's now common to have a full (or mostly full) lineup of cable fare available via satellite, it's likely the programmers won't be holding back anything from new OTT delivery sources--as long as they can pay.

Bewkes, who controls the likes of TNT, TBS and HBO, feels that Google TV will be a key element in helping cable operators more easily deliver programming via TV Everywhere plays. He is, one might say, suggesting that Google is just a longer tether that keeps the cord connected and competes against the likes of OTT players Netflix and Hulu because it helps viewers easily discover cable-provided programming.

"It basically allows more and more people to find their favorite networks," he told the Wall Street Journal. "They are more helpful than necessary."

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Over-the-top online video's Siren song for cable and IPTV operators

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