Netflix in bidding war for Warner Bros. programming; sees HBO as a good fit, too

Netflix as a major outlet for HBO programming? That's what Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said during a Q&A Tuesday at the National Association of Television Programming Executives conference in Miami.

"They're a great seller and with us being a great buyer, ultimately we'll get to a place where we can do business on their content," he said.

Of course, first, the two companies need to be on speaking terms. Currently, Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, which is HBO's parent company, comes off as being hostile to Netflix when he discusses the company in public. The company last week said Netflix would have to charge subscribers $20 a month instead of $7.99 if it wanted to offer HBO programming.

Things could get worse before they get better. Sarandos told interviewer Will Richmond of Videonuze that Netflix is planning to go head-to-head with HBO for the content rights from Warner Bros., another TW division, one that currently has a deal to deliver content to HBO until 2014.

"We will be an aggressive bidder for that programming," he said. And, that, he said, is likely at least part of the tense relations between the two. "That's why I think there's some aggravation and there's nothing more to it than that," Sarandos said.

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