Providing choice is key to getting young people who are used to finding television shows and movies on the Internet for free to actually pay to watch them, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes told CNBC on Friday.
"It's always been true that when people in their 20s go out of school and they try and get a house it takes them a while to sign up for cable," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. But to convert those would-be subscribers these days, television networks, content creators and service providers need to agree to offer smaller, less expensive programming solutions, he argued.
Time Warner is also allowing its Adult Swim, TBS, TNT, CNN and Cartoon Network channels to be part of Dish Network's new Internet subscription service Sling TV whose lineup also includes ESPN and ESPN2, the Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV and the Travel Channel. Sling TV will cost just $20 a month, much cheaper than a typical cable or satellite service with hundreds of channels.
But Bewkes does also see value in that traditional programming bundle. "In your house, different people want different things," he explained, saying viewers generally have their 10 favorite channels or so. "It's just your 10 are different than your wife's 10. And your kids are different yet again."
"This has been a good deal. You're getting more channels. And the price of it has really not gone up," he argued.