NEW YORK Time Warner has no immediate plans to acquire NBC but might consider a deal if the network became available, TW president and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said Monday, further opening the door for a buzzed-about potential acquisition.
"We don't need to [own a broadcast network] or have a particular agenda," Bewkes said at a Deutsche Bank investor conference. After joking that it depends on which network they were talking about, he acknowledged that NBC has been the subject of market chatter and added, "We'd have to look at that if and when it came up."
Bewkes suggested that cable networks, the key driver of growth at NBC Universal of late, were the GE entertainment arm's core media businesses, signaling that he might not be ready to buy all of NBCU.
There has been buzz on Wall Street, but GE executives repeatedly have said NBC is not for sale.
Also at the conference, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman discussed his firm's acquisitions outlook.
For Viacom, the era when big deals meant great value creation is "largely over," he said, adding that smaller tuck-in acquisitions with higher returns are his main deal focus.