Aereo Steal Its Signal
By Chris Morran April 9, 2013
Aereo uses an array of tiny, dedicated antennae to stream over-the-air
TV feeds to online subscribers.
Weve told you before about the lawsuits filed against Aereo, the
startup service that charges customers a monthly fee to stream
broadcast networks over the Internet. Now comes news that TV execs are
genuinely considering making their broadcasts unavailable to the
antenna-using public rather in an effort to stop Aereo and others from
selling their signals.
First came the Reuters interview with Garth Ancier, who has been in
charge of programming at NBC, the WB, and FOX. He claims that the
networks are seriously considering the possibility of pulling the plug
on their over-the-air signals if the networks lawsuits against Aereo
They wont have a choice, Ancier tells Reuters. When someone
attacks your business, sometimes you do something radical.
At issue is whether or not Aereo is illegally retransmitting network
signals. The broadcasters claim it is, but Aereo believes it is
getting around retransmission concerns by having an array of tiny
antennae, each of which is dedicated to a specific customer. Thus, the
company asserts, its doing nothing more than connecting a customer to
an antenna to access TV; no different than having an antenna on your
roof. Obviously, the networks disagree and say that Aereo is acting
like a cable or satellite provider, which would usually mean it would
pay for the right to retransmit the network feeds.
The issue is still being litigated, with a U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals recently ruling that Aereo be allowed to continue operating
while the suit is pending.
Now News Corp.s Chief Operating Officer says his company could pull
its broadcast network, FOX, from the free airwaves if the Aereo suit
This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we cant sit idly by
and let an entity steal our signal, the News Corp. COO told a
broadcasting convention in Las Vegas yesterday. If we cant do a fair
deal, we could take the whole network to a subscription model.
News Corp. later clarified the COOs statement, saying that any change
from over-the-air to pay-TV would occur in collaboration with both
our content partners and affiliates.