Time Warner Chairman Jeff Bewkes downplayed issues with HBO Go that caused the service to crash during Sunday’s finale of “True Detective.”
“Most of you could do it,” Bewkes said.
However, he did say that technology was one area where Time Warner, HBO’s corporate parent, is working to improve. His remarks came Tuesday morning at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference.
“We’ve got a lot of demand … we want to continue to make HBO Go stronger,” he said.
It’s not clear how many subscribers were unable to access the show, but Twitter exploded as people complained of technical difficulties, forcing HBO to officially acknowledge the problem.
The issues prompted The New York Times’ David Itzkoff to tweet, “Next week on True Detective: Marty & Rust frantically scramble to log onto HBO Go to learn what happened this week on True Detective.”
Most of Bewkes’ remarks accentuated the positive. He said that the popularity of shows such as “True Detective” are evidence of a “TV revolution” that is enriching content creators such as Time Warner. The media chief said that 90 percent of his company’s revenues come from the television production ecosystem — one that encompasses everything from the syndication returns for shows such as “The Big Bang Theory” to the retransmission fees Time Warner owned networks such as TNT and TBS receive from cable providers eager to carry their programming.
“There’s a huge and growing demand globally for original television product,” Bewkes said, noting that the amount of money being spent on television programming is greater than ever, as is the demand for quality television such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Veep.”
Bewkes credited the premium cable channel with raising the bar on the kind of thought-provoking and challenging fare that has led to a small screen renaissance, and with altering the way that people watch content. HBO started its own on-demand service 15 years ago, a harbinger of an interconnected world that allows people to stream programs to their phones, tablets and other devices.
“The whole television dial is going to convert itself to on demand,” Bewkes predicted saying that programming is “going to go with you wherever you go.”
Provided that is that HBO Go doesn’t crash.