In Broadcast - January 2014 - 22


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 27 - JANUARY 2014

N E W S

InUSA

What To Do About Aereo?

Hybrid over-the-air reception and IP web streaming channel service Aereo has faced down
some of the main U.S. broadcasters, but the legal wrangling continues...

By Michael Grotticelli
Contributing Editor

W

22

hen the Aereo local TV channel
service, using a hybrid of
over-the-air reception and IP web
streaming, launched in New York
City in February 2012, many in the
broadcast industry were concerned
that their content was being used
illegally and that the service would
eat into their profits.
Throughout much of 2013, as the
service continued to expand to new
markets, major broadcasters in the
U.S. took Aereo to court numerous
times and lost every time.
In October, after enduring
several similar court cases, a
federal judge issued a ruling in the
U.S. District Court for the District
of Massachusetts - regarding
Hearst Stations Inc. d/b/a WCVBTV v. Aereo - in favour of Aereo,
denying a preliminary injunction
against the company.
Chet Kanojia, Founder and CEO of
Aereo, seemed especially pleased:
"[This] decision, coupled with the
decisions in favour of Aereo in the
Southern District of New York (July
11, 2013) and the Second Circuit
Court of Appeals (April 1, 2013 and
July 16, 2013), shows that when
you comply not only with the letter,
but the spirit of the law, justice
will prevail."
He said that the victory belonged
to the consumer and that by using
Aereo, "a consumer can simply
and easily use an individual remote
antenna and cloud DVR via the
Internet to record and watch overthe-air programmes".
The networks claim that the
service is violating their copyright.
After several losses in lower level
courts, they have now petitioned
the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the
case. Aereo says it should be able
to transmit the signals because they
are available for free via over-the-air
antennas sold at retail.
Interestingly, previous attempts
to deliver television signals over the
Internet have not survived lawsuits
filed by broadcasters. Aereo, backed
by billionaire Barry Diller and his
company IAC, was consciously
designed to be immune to such
legal action. Each subscriber gets
an individual antenna in a large
grid, preventing claims of shared
broadcasts, and can only record

shows for their own viewing.
Experts view the various legal
actions as a response to frustration
at losing customers who might have
otherwise gone to basic cable and
generated more revenue.
Diller, who created the Fox
Network, said broadcasters "forgot
a long time ago" how they got a free
broadcast license in the first place.
"They have the right to say where and
when they want programming they
own to be displayed," he admitted.
But, he contended, they don't have
the right to insist on intermediaries
they approve as the conduit to
consumers. "I don't think it's on the
side of settled law or on the side of
the angels," he said.

An Aereo antennae array - consumers lease the antennae

Major League Baseball (MLB) and
the National Football League (NFL)
filed legal documents saying such
popular international events as the
World Series and the Super Bowl
would be moved to pay TV channels
if Aereo is ultimately successful
in the courts.
The leagues are concerned that

Aereo's hybrid over-the-air reception and IP web service launched in 2012

When they ask for retransmission
fees to allow Aereo to operate, Diller
said he tells broadcasters: "When
you get Radio Shack to pay you a
slice of profit for selling an aerial,
we'll pay you."
Diller also argues that Aereo
avoids legal issues others have
faced by leasing the antenna to
consumers, who then "control" it via
devices they already own. But even
a win in court doesn't guarantee
a business success, Diller said.
Indeed, although the company
said it would expand to 20 markets
by the end of 2013, it is currently
only in half that many, with others
"coming soon".
Adding to the intrigue, last month

network revenue could decrease
if Aereo is successful long term.
Of equal concern, to them and
consumers alike, content owners
and distributors could launch
their own Aereo-like services. An
executive from the Fox Network
threatened as much during a recent
IBC convention in Amsterdam.
The leagues wrote in a legal
filing: "If copyright holders lose
their exclusive retransmission
licensing rights and the substantial
benefits derived from those rights
when they place programming on
broadcast stations, those stations
will become less attractive mediums
for distributing copyright content.
The option for copyright holders will

be [to] move that content to paid
cable networks (such as ESPN, TNT)
where Aereo-like services cannot
hijack and exploit their programming
without authorisation."
This on-going fight is about more
than just money, although that's
certainly a large part of it. It's really
about saving face and avoiding
public humiliation of having to admit
that an upstart like Aereo could
usurp their control over content and
give consumers a more affordable
choice. No matter how much time
and money the broadcast industry
wastes in court, they can't match
Diller's money, which he appears to
be readily willing to spend.
It might be better to launch a new
IP-based service that partners with
Aereo and beats them at their own
game. Networks like ABC have
begun to make its programming
available (via live streaming) on
mobile devices, as long as the user
is subscribed to a pay TV service
that ABC condones. It's a start.
Of course, while broadcasters
and content owners want to extend
this "TV Everywhere" strategy
and broaden their reach, they are
being careful to limit what will
remain freely available online and
what will be placed behind the
authentication pay wall. This is
critical to retaining their power and
enhancing their negotiating position
for retransmission consent fees.
So, what do we do with Aereo?
The company seems to have done
its homework facing challenges from
the broadcast industry. Maybe we
should let the market decide.
And local TV content is copyright
protected and should be, or the
future of broadcasting will become
companies - such as Apple TV,
Netflix, and Roku - offering payonly fare via an Internet connection.
Consumers will end up with no free
over-the-air TV service at all.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2014

In Broadcast - January 2014
Contents
InNews: Full Sail Uni Selects Avid Systems
InNews: Luxembourg Charm Success
InForm: Guntermann & Drunck Intensify Security
InReply: Datavideo – Designed for Versatility
InStudio: Filmmaker Captures Wildlife With Vinten
InGear: Frezzi Skylight – Advanced Led Lighting
InTest: OTT Is a Hybrid: It’s How You Look at It
In Broadcast - January 2014 - Intro
In Broadcast - January 2014 - In Broadcast - January 2014
In Broadcast - January 2014 - Cover2
In Broadcast - January 2014 - Contents
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InNews: Full Sail Uni Selects Avid Systems
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 5
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InNews: Luxembourg Charm Success
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 7
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 8
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 9
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 10
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 11
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 12
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 13
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 14
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 15
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 16
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 17
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 18
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 19
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 20
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 21
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 22
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 23
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InForm: Guntermann & Drunck Intensify Security
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 25
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 26
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 27
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InReply: Datavideo – Designed for Versatility
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 29
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 30
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 31
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 32
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 33
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 34
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 35
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 36
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 37
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 38
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 39
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 40
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 41
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InStudio: Filmmaker Captures Wildlife With Vinten
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 43
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 44
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 45
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InGear: Frezzi Skylight – Advanced Led Lighting
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 47
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 48
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 49
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 50
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 51
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 52
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 53
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 54
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 55
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 56
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 57
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 58
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 59
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 60
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 61
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 62
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 63
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 64
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 65
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 66
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 67
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 68
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 69
In Broadcast - January 2014 - InTest: OTT Is a Hybrid: It’s How You Look at It
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 71
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 72
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 73
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 74
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 75
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 76
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 77
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 78
In Broadcast - January 2014 - 79
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S1
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S2
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S3
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S4
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S5
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S6
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S7
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S8
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S9
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S10
In Broadcast - January 2014 - S11
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201909
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201801
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201705
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201704
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201703
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201701
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20110708_DEMO
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201610
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201609
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201607
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC03
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201605
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201604
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201603
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201602
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC02
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201512
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_CCW15expo
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC01
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201509
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_IBC2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201508
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_BROADCASTASIA2015
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201502
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