Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes see earnings growing at Turner Broadcasting as revenues increase.
Bewkes, speaking at the UBS Media Conference in New York Tuesday, noted that Turner had substantial earnings growth in 2015, but that was mostly because of cost-cutting efforts.
“In ’16 it’s going to turn more into a revenue story,” Bewkes said.
“The ad market is starting out pretty well with scatter pricing in the double digits,” Bewkes said. (Turner on Tuesday announced a reorganization of its ad sales staff.)
“The affiliate fee revenue line, as we’ve said, is going to move up into the low double digits, so that’s on track. We’ve been telling you about that over the last two or three years,” Bewkes said before being corrected and changing the rate of growth to the low teens.
“They give me these phrases. I think in numbers,” he said, adding, “double digits is too low.”
Bewkes noted that Turner was in the process of doubling its spending on original programming to 41 billion. “There’s tremendous conversation going on between Warner [Bros.], Turner and HBO about projects. It’s obviously a good thing for us that we have so many breakthrough networks and the Warner Brothers producing shop all in the same company,” he said. “That will help the Turner original slate.”
Asked about adding NFL football to the mix, Bewkes said the company likes the NFL but doesn’t have to have it.
“We think it would be good if it came on an economic accretive basis,” he said. “It’s the Thursday package that’s at issue. We don’t have to have it. We’re interested and looking at it. If we do it, it would be because it worked out on a financially positive basis.”