TBS Taps Andrew T. Heller to Coordinate "TV Everywhere" within Time Warner
Time Warner-owned Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) said Tuesday that it has promoted Andrew T. Heller, who previously served as the company's president of domestic distribution, to vice chairman, and tasked him with assuming "a coordinating role within Time Warner" on the "TV Everywhere" initiative. The initiative, which has been championed by Time Warner (see, for example, the article published on itvt.com, April 30th, on the update that Time Warner chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes, provided on the initiative during the company's Q1 earnings conference call), seeks to make programming that pay-TV customers have already paid for through their cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions available to those customers on multiple platforms.
In an interview with the advertising-industry trade publication, AdAge, Heller revealed that he has actually been working on the TV Everywhere initiative for a number of months now and that he expects to be able to announce "soon" the first national test of the authentication system that the initiative envisions (note: on Time Warner's earnings call, Bewkes stated that the company is "working with several distributors on a trial slated for the second half of this year"). He added that his most important task was to achieve a consensus between networks, distributors and advertisers as soon as possible, in order to preserve the value to consumers of the cable business model: "It's important we do this as quickly as we can because there is such disparate treatment of access to commercially produced long-form content as an industry that it's confusing to the consumer, and that's unhealthy," he told AdAge. "The sooner we can find technical solutions to make this work and reward our customers for their loyalty, the easier it will be for consumers to understand what we're doing and tell us what else they'd like to see."