Oh, that Jeff Bewkes, he's such a kidder. The Time Warner CEO has had a bug in his ear about Netfix for months (years) and his open hostility toward the alternative video delivery service is trickling down to his subordinates.
The Hollywood Reporter, in an exhaustive--and entertaining--look at the love-hate relationship between Netflix and Hollywood studios said a high-ranking TW exec told it that Netflix would have to charge subscribers $20 per month rather than the $7.99 it currently charges in order for it to deliver a meaningful amount of HBO programming to them.
"HBO believes in content exclusivity, especially for high-value content," said Jeff Cusson, HBO SVP for corporate affairs. "That's our rationale for not selling streaming rights to a competing subscription service." HBO does license shows to iTunes and Amazon, but it has "no intention of making its content available for streaming on Netflix," he said.
Turner Broadcasting Systems CEO, Phil Kent, who also calls Bewkes "Boss," has told other TV execs that if they're thinking about letting Netflix have streaming rights to their shows, they should think again.
"We've been telling our suppliers--the various studios that we buy from--that in the future, [Netflix streaming deals are] going to have a significant impact on what we're going to be willing to pay for programming or even bid at all," Kent told investors Jan 5.
Not all programmers share Bewkes distaste toward Netflix. "They're another buyer, even for stuff that others don't consider terribly valuable," said one Disney exec.
Added Mark Cuban, Netflix is "absolutely a friend to producers and distributors--they are found money that is monetizing library assets as DVD sales fall."
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