Turner launching 'at least a couple' direct-to-consumer streaming platforms

Turner Networks will launch a number of SVOD platforms outside the pay-TV ecosystem in the coming months, an executive for the Time Warner Inc. programming arm said.

"Before the end of this year we'll have at least a couple of direct-to-consumer products in the marketplace," Turner CEO John Martin said today at a luncheon with reporters in New York. (Reporters from Deadline Hollywood and Broadcasting & Cable were among the media members covering.)

Martin said Turner's direct-to-consumer efforts will focus on "cord-nevers" — young adults who have never had pay-TV service.

Turner's movement into the direct-to-consumer streaming market isn't surprising. Last fall, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes signaled that his company would shift its focus to the online video market, but do so in a way that cut major SVOD platforms like Netflix out of the equation.

Martin said Turner is open to partnering with operators to distribute his company's SVOD platforms along with their broadband services. Turner's program rights deals, he said, give it "flexibility to sign with any distributor."

Meanwhile, striking a bullish tone about Turner's fate in the traditional pay-TV market, Martin said Turner's distribution deals with operators feature rate increases and mining carriage levels that will ensure rising revenue, despite any cord cutting or shaving.

"I think we're going to buck the trend," he said.

For more:
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story

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