|The chief executive of Time Warner Inc. said he is turning to Google Inc. as an ally in his push to bring cable shows to users across various devices and that the Web giant’s new service for accessing and searching Internet programming on TVs isn’t the threat many television distributors fear.
Jeffrey Bewkes, who oversees a company that includes the TNT, TBS and HBO cable networks, also predicted a “massive amount of competition” for Netflix Inc. and Hulu LLC as more content owners make their TV shows available through operators on demand and online and as cable and satellite companies improve their experiences.
“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.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, shown in May, says content is still key.
Mr. Bewkes’s comments come as media executives are agonizing over which new Internet distributors to supply shows to and whether to pursue new digital distribution methods on their own. Hulu and Netflix had no comment.
Time Warner has been championing a model it calls “TV Everywhere,” allowing cable and satellite subscribers to watch the TV shows they pay for in their traditional TV bundles online, free.
Tuesday Mr. Bewkes said that Time Warner, which already has deals to enable Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. subscribers to watch shows from its cable networks online, has or is close to finalizing similar deals with Dish Network Corp., DirecTV Group Inc., AT&T Inc. and other cable operators as well.
Monday, the company also endorsed the Google TV technology, saying it would optimize some of its television websites, including those of TNT, TBS and CNN, for viewing on TVs carrying Google TV. It said it would do the same with its HBO GO website, through which some viewers who subscribe to the premium cable channel can watch its shows online. The arrangement isn’t a business deal.
Google is working with several partners to build televisions and boxes carrying its software. Logitech International SA plans to discuss its set-top box running Google’s new software Wednesday.
NBC Universal’s CNBC network and the NBA also announced they would build Google TV software applications that provide access to content like financial news and sports scores. Other television networks—including the major broadcast networks—have largely been mum about whether they plan to work with Google’s service.
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