Time Warner Enlists Army for Netflix Fight
J Thoendell stashed this in Film
If Netflix had hoped to overshadow Time Warner’s investor presentation this week by scheduling its financials release on the same day, it was sorely misguided. In recent weeks, Time Warner has looked like a media empire in decline, slashing jobs at its Turner and Warner Bros. divisions and still reeling from an unsolicited takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
During a stunning three-hour presentation, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes and his chief lieutenants, HBO CEO Richard Plepler, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and Turner CEO John Martin reminded investors what corporate firepower looks like, announcing Harry Potter spin-offs, half a decade’s worth of DC Comics movies, Tom & Jerry reboots, “Friends” licensing deals (with Netflix, no less!) and pledges to collaborate across divisions. The HBO mic drop indicated that Time Warner plans to help steer the future of digital video. Oh, and Bewkes promised to double earnings growth.
Left out of their slideshows was any mention of “Blended 2,” a would-be sequel to Sandler’s recent summer flop.
Netflix looked like a lightweight yesterday. It may have revolutionized streaming. It may have ambitions to upend tired business models with digital age know-how. But it forgot that you never bring a knife to a gunfight.