Bewkes: SVOD can devalue programming

While Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes has been a big proponent of TV Everywhere distribution, he told analysts Wednesday that distributing popular syndicated shows such as Big Bang Theory through VOD could reduce the value of programming.

"It's unlikely if you look at the prospects for Big Bang Theory that it's going to go to an SVOD service at least anytime soon for a number of reasons. It obviously is commanding very high license fees from traditional networks and stations who want exclusive rights for those exhibitions," Bewkes said on a Time Warner earnings call.

Big Bang Theory is produced by Time Warner's Warner Bros. division. After debuting on CBS, Warner cut syndication deals to run the show on Fox TV stations and on TBS, which is also owned by Time Warner.

While TBS offers cable operators a handful of movies and TV series for their free VOD platforms, it doesn't include Big Bang Theory. Bewkes' remarks suggest that content owners such as Time Warner may not be willing to supply cable MSOs with more popular syndicated shows for VOD distribution until the industry finds a way to better monetize the content through VOD advertising.

For more:
- see transcript from Time Warner's earnings call

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