Time Warner CFO Sees Big Shift to On-Demand Video Consumption

Courtesy of Time, Inc.
Time Warner CFO Howard Averill

"There's even more demand than ever for consumption of video product," Howard Averill told analysts in Las Vegas.

Time Warner is primed to exploit a big shift to on-demand video consumption, company CFO Howard Averill predicted Thursday.

Speaking at the Citi Internet, Media, and Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas, Averill forecast a strong 2016 as Time Warner rides a content cycle where consumers increasingly watch video on-demand and digitally.

"The big shift is to on-demand consumption," Averill told analysts during a conference session that was webcast. "That really allows the biggest and best brands and networks and the best content to take share and become even more valuable."

He added Time Warner sees no decline in overall demand for video consumption when balancing reduced TV ratings with video viewed elsewhere on SVOD services and unmeasured digital devices. "So we're really well positioned to take advantage of where consumers are going," said Averill.

He also discussed a possible bid for NFL's Thursday Night Football TV package for Turner, but insisted Time Warner would only pursue a long-term contract as it faces likely rival bids from NBC, Fox and CBS. "If the NFL is going to do a short-term deal, we wouldn't participate," said Averill.

The exec also discussed the current gap in HBO's subscriber gains and earnings as affiliate agreements allow big cable operators to keep subscriber revenues. "There's a lot of consumer demand for HBO, it's just that it's our big partner distributors that are reaping the benefits of the multiple hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that's being generated," he explained.

Averill said Time Warner aimed to claw back HBO revenues when major affiliate deals next come up for renewal.