Time Warner CEO Says No Way to iTunes TV Rentals

Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner CEO, isn’t interested in Apple’s US$0.99 iTunes Store TV show rental program because he sees it as a platform that will hurt broadcast partners.

“How can you justify renting your first-run TV shows individually for 99 cents an episode and thereby jeopardize the sale of the same shows as a series to branded networks that pay hundreds of millions of dollars and make those shows available to loyal viewers for free?” Mr. Bewkes said during the Royal Television Conference in London, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Apple introduced its low cost TV show rental program for the iTunes Store during an iPod and media-related press event in early September. ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America are already on board, but NBC Universal isn’t interested in participating.

Time Warner isn’t singling out Apple. Mr. Bewkes doesn’t have any plans to strike any deals with Amazon, either, because he thinks offering lower cost content through both companies services would devalue shows.

Despite Mr. Bewkes disdain for Apple’s streaming rental service, that isn’t stopping him from offering TV shows for sale through the iTunes Store. Presumably he doesn’t see selling TV shows through the iTunes Store as a threat to the networks that are buying his content.