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Time Warner Says 'Free, Free, Set VOD Free'

Reuters reports that Time Warner Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Bewkes said he thought all television networks should be put on its cable video-on-demand (VOD) service to give viewers easier access.

The move, which would be 'free' for viewers and supported by advertising, would be one way for the cable industry to compete against the Internet and new technologies, which have been siphoning TV viewers by offering instant gratification.

"Maybe I have a dream. We should take all the networks... a day, a week... and put it on video on demand for free," Bewkes said at a panel discussion at the annual cable show sponsored by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).

Bewkes' idea would be to put entire programming schedules on demand, rather than offer specific shows only. He said this would be an ideal model to give viewers what they want, when they want it.

He urged the cable industry to do this by next year, but noted that licensing issues were a major hurdle. TV networks could find it difficult to obtain video on demand licenses and rights for programs they do not own, he said.

Perhaps if 'Sting' had written the words for Bewkes commentary he would have said -- you can't control a consumer's independent heart. If you love your customers... set them them free. Free, free, set VOD free.

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