There has been some reluctance from producers to turn over program rights for VOD use, but Time Warner pres/COO Jeff Bewkes believes that’ll mostly be resolved "this year." When pressed on how by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien during CTAM’s opening session Tues, he quipped, "We’re essentially going to make them an offer they can’t refuse." Bewkes, who joked a couple times at his sidestepping of questions, described himself as a VOD preacher who wants every network to offer their programming on demand. The more programming available on demand, the less operators will need to roll out DVRs, which some fear will destroy the traditional ad model, he said. The monetary model for VOD will be advertising, he predicted, saying consumers are used to the standard ad model for live programs and most would prefer ads during VOD programs than paying for individual shows. Bewkes is also a believer in new media. "Everything that goes on demand on TV screens should go on the Internet at the same time," he said. Time Warner’s Warner Bros studio started making the rights to their series, including TNT’s hit "The Closer," available to networks last year, who then made them available for VOD in some instances. Bewkes said one of the biggest hold-ups with producers is the embarrassment factor—"if I do this, do I look dumb?…" He suggested that cable operators’ data from TV, VOD and Internet usage be made available to advertisers so they could better target consumers. But for that to happen, he added, there needs to be a common sharing of data by the cable industry on an apples to apples basis. "We’re literally at the starting point right now," Bewkes said, noting that several MSOs are working on such a structure. At the panel’s end, the TW exec was presented with CTAM’s Grand TAM award for more than 20 years of industry leadership.

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AVOD Tubi has struck a content deal with STXfilms. The service will now have an exclusive free streaming window to titles including “I Feel Pretty,” “The Edge of Seventeen,” “UglyDolls,” “Peppermint” and “Den of Thieves.” The AVOD will also offer adventure documentary “Into the Lost Desert” starting Aug 1. — HGTV greenlit 11 new series […]

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