Exec threatens to make Fox pay-TV-only channel if Aereo goes on

By | April 10, 2013

A top executive with the owner of the Fox broadcast network on Monday threatened to convert the network to a pay-TV-only channel if Internet startup Aereo Inc. continues to “steal” Fox’s over-the-air signal and sell it to consumers without paying for rights.

Anyone with an antenna can pick up a TV station’s signals for free. But cable and satellite companies typically pay stations and networks for the right to distribute their programming to subscribers. Industrywide, those retransmission fees add up to billions of dollars every year.

Last week, that business was shaken after a federal appeals court issued a preliminary ruling siding with Aereo, which contends that it doesn’t have to pay those fees because it relies on thousands of tiny antennas.

News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said that not being paid by Aereo jeopardizes the economics of broadcast TV, which relies on both retransmission fees and advertising.

“This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can’t sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal,” Carey said at the annual gathering of broadcasters, called NAB Show, in Las Vegas. “If we can’t do a fair deal, we could take the whole network to a subscription model.”

If realized, Carey’s proposal would amount to a sea change in how Fox does business. Currently, Fox sends its signal to TV stations across the country, including 27 that it owns directly. Those stations relay Fox programming such as “Glee” and “Family Guy” for free over the airwaves in local markets and add their own local news and other programming. While most people get Fox through a pay TV provider anyway, millions of other Americans rely on the free signal coming over their own antennas.

Carey didn’t explain how TV stations would be affected if Fox shut off the signals it sent to broadcasters and went straight to a pay TV model. Later, the company said in a statement that any change would occur “in collaboration with both our content partners and affiliates.”

Aereo takes broadcast signals for free from the air with thousands of little antennas, recodes them for Internet use and feeds that to subscribers’ computers, tablets and smartphones. Plans start at $8 a month, which is much cheaper than a cable package, though the service is mostly limited to broadcast channels.

Last week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said that Aereo could continue its service despite a legal challenge by broadcast networks Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS.

In a split ruling, the court accepted Aereo’s position that having individual antennas meant that Aereo wasn’t retransmitting signals. Rather, the appeals court said that Aereo enabled its subscribers to do what they already could on their own with their own antenna and video recorder. …

via Exec threatens to make Fox pay-TV-only channel if Aereo goes on | Fox News.

Aereo says “Watch real TV live on the Internet. Finally.” https://www.aereo.com/.

And then it says, “We’re sorry but you are not currently located within Aereo’s market area. Aereo is available exclusively in the New York City metropolitan area.

Update:

You can once again receive over-the-air (OTA) broadcast network channels with DVR service.
Aereo harnessed the power and potential of OTA television with digital recording capability-without having to be a cable or satellite subscriber. Well, that experience is here in an even better way with TiVo.

Because of the Supreme Court’s Aereo ruling last year, OTA television won’t be delivered in the exact way Aereo had pioneered. However, TiVo shares Aereo’s disruptive spirit and is committed to viewers who want to save money and still get a great entertainment experience, without having to pay a cable or satellite bill.

Introducing TiVo BOLT, a slick, intuitive device that combines the best way to receive and record OTA signals while integrating popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Better yet, TiVo BOLT includes innovative new features that’ll blow your mind. SkipMode lets you jump past commercial breaks with a single click, while QuickMode lets you watch recorded shows 30% faster with pitch-perfect audio. TiVo BOLT is also compatible with 4K UHD TVs for picture resolution like you’ve never seen. These innovations are a major improvement over the Aereo service, which did not integrate over-the-air and streaming service viewing experiences. With TiVo BOLT, you can easily find and watch your favorite shows, no matter where they may be found.

via AEREO

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