You Pay For That TV Show? Jeff Bewkes Wants to Know

 Ad Age Digital  DigitalNext  MediaWorks ( — Jeff Bewkes hopes to put more TV on the Internet, but he’s going to make consumers prove they’ve paid for it.

Time Warner, the largest owner of cable networks including TNT, Cartoon Network, CNN and HBO, sat back and watched as broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox tried to sort out the distribution of TV on the web. But now Time Warner boss Bewkes has a plan to put all cable programming on the web in places such as Hulu, MySpace, Yahoo TV, or even YouTube. Of course, there’s a catch. To get it you’ll have to prove you subscribe to pay TV through cable, satellite, or telco.

“If you want to watch your favourite TV network or shows through broadband on any device — PCs or mobile — you can do it as long as you subscribe to any multichannel provider,” Mr. Bewkes told Advertising Age. “It’s a natural extension of the existing model.”

The initiative, dubbed “TV Everywhere,” is intended to be an industrywide effort, and Mr. Bewkes expects to ready a test of it this year. “This is not just for the cable industry,” he said. “It’s about keeping the health of all these fantastic networks while making them available at no extra charge on the online platform.”

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