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Bewkes defends TW’s TV Everywhere

Industry embraces multi-device access, exec says

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes on Monday defended the pace of rollout of his brainchild, TV Everywhere, saying distributors covering 70% of the country are now offering some form of the service that allows paying subscribers to access TV programming on multiple devices.

Bewkes said virtually all cable, satellite and telco companies have embraced the concept. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank media conference in Palm Beach, Fla., Bewkes added one reason more shows and channels aren’t available is that programmers are waiting to negotiate those streaming rights as part of their carriage agreements. That is not the case at Time Warner, he noted, saying the priority is to get programming up a running. “We know at some point, we will get paid,” he said.

TV Everywhere was first announced by Bewkes and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in July 2009.

Despite criticisms earlier this by year by Bewkes of Netflix and the video service’s perceived might in Hollywood, he was much more muted on the topic on Monday. He said he believed subscription vod services like Netflix had a place, but for shows much further down the window chain, past DVD and pay TV. He added that he would like to see “more vibrant competition” in the space beyond a service with embedded subscribers from a different business — mail order.