Jeff Bewkes, known as the father of TV Everywhere, now admits the initiative didn’t work, with the Time Warner CEO saying the complexity of programming deals dealt the fatal blow.
FierceCable reports that Bewkes made the revelation while discussing the proposed $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. by AT&T. Bewkes appears to now be all in on over-the-top, such as the upcoming DirecTV Now.
It was Bewkes who originally spearheaded what became known as TV Everywhere, traditional pay TV’s plan, launched in 2009, to distribute content to mobile devices.
“In order to create innovative digital TV products that compete with next-generation video services offered by technology companies like Netflix and Facebook, pay-TV operators and media companies can’t have an ‘arms-length’ relationship, concluded Bewkes, who spoke alongside AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Monday during AT&T’s third-quarter earnings call,” the story reports. “They need to be under the same roof to get stuff done.”
Said Bewkes: “We’ve been trying for years at Time Warner to get more video-on-demand.” He added that “it has taken a long time” for the required deals between programmers and operators to come together.
“Bewkes seemed to concede that the pay-TV industry’s quest to augment its traditional, linear packages with authenticated multiscreen services didn’t work out as planned,” FierceCable reports. “Simply stated, the vast complexity of program rights deals rendered a consumer experience that — when examined holistically — isn’t on par with services like Netflix.”