While industry-watchers are hotting up Google TV as sparking a new, and bloody, battle in the war for the living room, Time Warner, one of Google's would-be rivals is already throwing ice on the fire.
CEO Jeff Bewkes said that he's looking at Google's new interactive television service as more of an ally than a threat to its existing Web TV and pay-TV strategy. Time Warner plans to tailor its content to be optimised for Google TV, and is working with Google engineers to do just that, according to the WSJ. That's because Google TV actually complements the studio's existing 'TV Everywhere' initiative, he told the Wall Street Journal.
Time Warner, which owns several cable networks, including TNT, TBS and HBO, is pursuing content distribution options that allow cable and satellite subscribers free access to its content, on demand, via dedicated network Websites like HBO GO. It offers that access option to Comcast and Verizon FiOS subscribers already, and is working on similar deals with Dish, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse, according to the WSJ.
Bewkes said that the idea was to improve the user experience by offering users another content discovery mechanism and to offer just one more way for subscribers to view the studio's content. Google is a conduit rather than a content creator, he noted, making it more of a complementary entity that stakeholders like studios and pay-TV operators can use to sweeten the pot for users attracted to the anywhere, anytime access afforded by Netflix and Hulu.
Elaborating, Bewkes told the paper that cable, satellite and telco operators are about to give Netflix and Hulu a "massive amount of competition" as they improve their experiences and partner with the likes of Google TV to offer more viewing options and a better way to grab Web TV content and put it on the big screen. "It basically allows more and more people to find their favorite networks," he told the WSJ. "They are more helpful than necessary."