Time Warner CEO: Google TV more ally than enemy; says Hulu, Netflix in for a fight

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes says he sees Google's soon-to-launch Google TV service as less a threat than an ally in his company's efforts to reach out to consumers across all devices, not just televisions. On Monday, when Google rolled out a sneak peek of its Google TV service, three of the networks that Time Warner controls--TBS, TNT and CNN--were included in the list of content providers that would be optimizing their websites for the Google TV service.

Bewkes told the Wall Street Journal that content owners likely would increasingly make their products available on demand and online, looking to aggressively grow TV Everywhere initiatives. "When all of the content on the big screen works like the content on the little screen what will happen? The programming will trump the interface," he said.

He also said Time Warner is close to wrapping up deals with Dish Network, AT&T and DirecTV for TV Everywhere offerings, and already allows Comcast and Verizon subscribers access to programming online.

Google's new service, Bewkes said, and the increasing willingness of content owners to put their own content on line by themselves or with service providers will make it tougher on Hulu and Netflix to thrive as content they currently carry becomes easier to access elsewhere. Increasingly, content providers are looking for more ways to get their product in front of more viewers, something the stuttering TV Everywhere roll out and, now, Google TV, are likely to do.

Google, which initially found little support for its Google TV service in Hollywood, has steadily built relationships with content providers. Time Warner, for example, said it also would optimize its HBO Go service for Google TV to allow authorized users access to it. NBC Universal, meanwhile, said it would bring its CNBC network to the service with a special software application, as would the NBA.

"(Google TV) basically allows more and more people to find their favorite networks," Bewkes said, adding that Google isn't seeking to provide any connectivity service or land any rights to content on its own. "They are more helpful than necessary," he told the Journal.

For more:
- see this WSJ article

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