Bewkes stands behind day-and-date

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NEW YORK -- Time Warner Inc. president and COO Jeffrey Bewkes on Wednesday reaffirmed his company's belief in the financial benefits of day-and-date film releases via cable video-on-demand.

Day-and-date trials with Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. have been "very encouraging," he said in the world largest media company's quarterly earnings call. "The whole industry should move and adopt" day-and-date releases, given the additional revenue and customer satisfaction, as well as margins that are about three times those the studios get on physical rentals, he added.

Bewkes once again mentioned that film buy rates in the trials are up about 50%, a figure company executives have previously cited.

The TW president added that DVD sell-through, which some have worried could be hurt, saw 5%-10% increases for product used in the trials. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara recently mentioned a 10% sell-through boost (HR 6/5).

However, Bewkes reiterated that physical rentals have been hurt "a little bit" by the day-and-date releases in trial markets.

"It seems to be a win all the way around," he said, summarizing his views on the day-and-date business.
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