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Fox, Univision May Go Subscription To Stop Aereo 306

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-bluffing dept.
GTRacer writes "In response to Aereo's recent win allowing per-user over-the-air antenna feeds to remote devices, Fox COO Chase Carey said, 'We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content. This is not an ideal path we look to pursue [...],' that path being a switch to a subscription model. Spanish-language stalwart Univison may join Fox, per CEO Haim Saban. Aereo replied, in part, 'When broadcasters asked Congress for a free license to digitally broadcast on the public's airwaves, they did so with the promise that they would broadcast in the public interest and convenience, and that they would remain free-to-air. Having a television antenna is every American's right.' A switch to a pay-TV subscription model would stymie Aereo but could hurt affiliate stations."
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Fox, Univision May Go Subscription To Stop Aereo

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  • While you are at it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:40AM (#43402027) Journal

    Can we switch ALL channels to a subscription model? I only watch 5 channels, and I would gladly pay $5 each for those channels and save myself hundreds of dollars per year.

    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:42AM (#43402057) Journal

      On cable that would be fine, but not over the air channels. If they try that, they should indeed lose their broadcast license.

      • by ByOhTek (1181381)
        Or pay a subscription tax on top of their broadcast license.
        • by afidel (530433)

          No, they should lose their license, we have MUCH better things we can do with that bandwidth than prop up a subscription business. The VHF band alone is 162MHz, enough for 8 LTE providers (maybe only 7 with guard bands) and penetrates buildings well.

      • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:04AM (#43402391) Homepage Journal

        The clock is ticking for local over the air affiliates anyway. In a few years expect all the big players like Viacom, NBCUniversal, Fox, Disney, etc... to focus on becoming "apps" with content stores or subscriber libraries. There are constant rumors of HBO GO waiving the cable subscriber requirement and becoming a Netflix or Hulu. Premium channels are not going to standby much longer and watch Amazon Prime and other services steal "their audience". They will get in the game and it will by the end of the status quo for cable tv.

        Smaller local news affiliates will become an afterthought. They will need to figure out how to survive as the business model continues to shift to streaming.

        • by Picass0 (147474)

          footnote: Before anyone says it I know NBC and Fox are partners on Hulu. I'm just saying expect more of that.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @12:56PM (#43403789) Journal

          And what will REALLY make them shit their pants is when they all switch...and nobody shows up.

          I live in a college town with my oldest in college so I am pretty much surrounded by 20 somethings all damned day and you know what I found? they don't watch TV, in fact more and more of them don't even own a TV. They might have netflix to watch a movie, might catch a clip on YouTube but THAT IS IT, they really don't give a rat's ass about watching traditional TV, they have their social stuff and their games and they just don't have any desire to sit and just passively veg out in front of a TV like previous generations did.

          I always thought I was a bit of an oddball because I dropped TV nearly a decade ago, turns out I was just ahead of the curve. talking to these kids that come into the shop pretty much TV is looked at something for your parents or grandparents, its just not something they care about. They are a HELL of a lot more social oriented, they are getting together with friends and watching a rifftrax on the widescreen one of them uses as a monitor, they are on their FB or in an MMO, regular passive TV really just doesn't hold any appeal to them and I honestly don't blame 'em as when I go out to visit my mother I'm forced to watch it and...fuck is ALL TV this God damned stupid? Is it ALL reality garbage now? Because spinning through the channels that is what it seems like to me, every time I'm exposed to it all I can think is "When is "Ass" or "Oww my balls" coming on?" because it feels THAT stupid.

          So give the OTA bandwidth to cellphones, maybe add a nice free channel for the next gen of WiFi, because honestly even the old folks aren't watching that shit anymore, they have Dish or DirectTV and the kids don't watch any of it.

          • by Pope (17780)

            And yet there are a lot of great shows on TV nowadays, and the mid to late 20 somethings in my office are up on all of them. Very few watch reality shows. They watch Justified, Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, etc.

            • What makes you think that they watch these on TV, and not on Netflix, AIV etc?

              (or download from TPB where that's not an option)

              • by hairyfeet (841228)
                Exactly, the days of tuning in at X to watch Y are fricking over, some of my oldest boy's friends like Walking Dead, I'm guessing they get it from the net because they are watching it on laptops and tablets. Like I said he doesn't have a single friend that OWNS a TV that is used for that, a couple got cheap 32 inchers they use for monitors but none of them are watching traditional cable or OTA, they see it as too expensive (or in the case of OTA too much a PITA as we lie in a valley and digital don't work w
          • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:43PM (#43404387) Journal

            And what will REALLY make them shit their pants is when they all switch...and nobody shows up.

            The process of them shitting their pants has already begun [time.com].

            The sad part of it is that they still don't get it - they think that they can solve it by bringing it to iDevices and such, without changing the basic subscription model of cable.

            • by Rockoon (1252108) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @04:59PM (#43406753)
              I don't even think its the subscription model...

              Sure, television always had a lot of crap.. but it wasn't always so loaded up with cheap crap aka "reality television."

              How many channels have names that lie about their content now? The learning channel? National geographic channel? The history channel? ....

              Its cheap to pay 4 or 5 guys with cameras to follow around a bunch of douche bags.. its crap so they only get 10% of the viewers that they used to, but it only costs them 1% of what their old programming had cost to produce, and sometimes the cast of douche bags they are following are so extraordinarily douchy that they have a "hit" and get twice as many viewers as their old programming did...

              I'm not sure that I wouldn't make the same decisions as they are if I was in their place.. profits are up all the way down the death spiral...
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:06AM (#43402407) Journal

        "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to the public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

        Life-Line by Robert A. Heinlein, 1939

        /If they want to take their ball and go home, I would encourage them to do so.
        //NBC/CBS/ABC as well. Someone will fill your shoes, if for no other reason than the lucrative sports broadcast.

        • by SpaceManFlip (2720507) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:39AM (#43402801)
          +1 for appropriate Heinlein wisdom

          This Fox COO is making dumb threats. As one with an inside-view of how broadcast TV is made available to viewers, I can tell you that this action if taken will result in no good for Fox.

          Basically, there is in many areas at most a 15-20% marketshare for OTA broadcast TV, and the rest get their TV from cable or satellite. For Fox to be able to charge the "freeloaders" viewing by broadcast, they would have to implement some kind of scrambling of the broadcast signal.
          Scrambling the signal would require hardware on both ends: 1 scrambler at the broadcast transmitter, and 1 descrambler at each viewer's house (many).

          How many currently free viewers do you reckon are going to start paying Fox for hardware/subscription to view their 1 broadcast channel that they used to get for free? My bet is nearly none. So their 15-20% share would drop to ~ 2-5% costing them 10+% of their viewers. Look at that number, then think of the nation-wide ad revenue for the corporation it could represent, and plop that figure onto the table of the shareholders' meeting....

          • We have had subscription Broadcast TV before. When I was a kid, my neighbors had "IT TV" that ran a scrambled channel, that was in the 1980's.

            Maybe If Fox sold off stations, Google could launch a YouTube Network. They could use all 4 Digital channels for maximum effect. They would have to clean up some shows for swearing and such, but they try to do that already. They have mastered short ads every few clips so DVR wouldn't really hurt them.. In fact they could work with TiVo and the built in program guide D

          • You forgot one important thing.

            I'm pretty sure most broadcast licenses from the require that the content to not be encrypted.
            Given just how much money companies are willing to pay the FCC for a slice of spectrum, the government wouldn't waste time "repossessing" their spectrum license.

            • by nabsltd (1313397)

              You forgot one important thing.

              I'm pretty sure most broadcast licenses from the require that the content to not be encrypted.

              Mostly. The regs basically say that a 480i unencrypted signal would suffice for keeping the license. This could be done in about 3Mbps, leaving nearly 16Mbps for encrypted content.

              The OTA stations that are affliated with ION do this right now. Although they do have 720p as their main signal, the bitrate is about 6Mbps, which looks like crap. They have two other unencrypted sub-channels (both 480i), and 5-6 encrypted streams, including things like Starz and NFL Sunday Ticket.

          • by internerdj (1319281) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @12:02PM (#43403095)
            Maybe I misread but I thought they just meant drop out of broadcast and only air the channels over cable or satelite.
    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      I hate to break it to you, but under that kind of model you'd probably be watching four channels worth of serene blue nothing. Cable packages subsidize less-popular channels, which includes... Syfy, TLC, the History channel, not that they're huge losses at this point, and basically anything else that isn't driven by one of the major basic networks or popular premium channels like HBO. Even they'd be impacted, because while advertising is a huge source of income, contracts with cable providers provide steady
      • by lgw (121541)

        Why should less popular channels by subsidized? Why should anything ever be subsidized (as far as entertainment)? The more direct the funding for content, the less "why would anyone watch this" content there will be, and the more rational discussions of piracy will become.

        I'd much rather see a model where I watched all TV by buying downloads of shows - of course they'd ruin it all with some DRM nonsense, but a man can dream.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Why should less popular channels by subsidized? Why should anything ever be subsidized (as far as entertainment)?

          Spread around the costs, maximize profits.

          Cable companies are against bundling because there's channels that only a small subset of viewers wants. They're not going to pay for those individually, so the strategy is to bundle, and if you want something that only comes in a bundle, you help pay for the other channels you don't want.

          The cable companies want to make sure that the money losing stuff

        • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @12:05PM (#43403145)

          Why should less popular channels by subsidized? Why should anything ever be subsidized (as far as entertainment)?

          Because mass-market pablum will be the only thing produced?

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            If you make something good people WILL buy it, you may not have the budget that the mass market crap has but I don't see why they couldn't turn a modest profit. That is why I thought the idea Joss Whedon floated a couple years back was smart, it was basically "if enough people buy the DVD of X we make another one" which I thought was a brilliant way to just bypass the whole system. If enough people want a Spike and Dru series or Firefly or whatever? let them put their money where their mouth is and buy the

      • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @12:40PM (#43403605)

        History, SyFy and TLC would all be fine:

        Prime-time Average Viewers (Live+SD) Week Ending April 7, 2013:


        1. Network (000s)
        2. USA 2718
        3. DSNY 2505
        4. A&E 1880
        5. HIST 1793
        6. TBSC 1758
        7. FOXN 1650
        8. TNT 1601
        9. ESPN 1388
        10. ADSM 1286
        11. HGTV 1198
        12. LIFE 1107
        13. FX 1089
        14. FOOD 1022
        15. AMC 1010
        16. SYFY 1005
        17. DISC 980
        18. NAN 963
        19. BRAV 957
        20. TRU 903
        21. SPK 883
        22. TLC 844
        23. CMDY 834
        24. APL 780
        25. MTV 771
        26. BET 754

        It would be the rest of the filler station that wouldn't make it.

    • by lobos (88359)

      Can we switch ALL channels to a subscription model? I only watch 5 channels, and I would gladly pay $5 each for those channels and save myself hundreds of dollars per year.

      The subscription model they talk about is not the à la carte model that you are talking about. When they say "subscription model", they mean convert to the current pay-TV system where they would receive a monthly affiliate fee from your cable provider on your behalf. Hence, you automatically become a subscriber and some of your cable bill will get diverted to them.

  • What am I missing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by therealkevinkretz (1585825) * on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:42AM (#43402065)

    If they already provide a free over-the-air signal, in order to be available to the most viewers (and therefore to the most advertising targets), isn't another company extending that viewer base at no expense to Fox, Univision, CBS, NBC, ABC a *benefit* to them?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a benefit to the affiliate stations, however Fox wants your to watch your LA affiliate when in LA, not the NY affiliate. Especially for their "talent" shows.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:51AM (#43402223)

      SSssshh! They're going to take Fox off the air and we don't have to do anything

    • Of course not. They expect to be PAID to have their advertisers commercials shown to a larger audience.
    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Only if that extended viewer base is measured and reported in a manner that advertisers trust, and then only if increased viewer base means increased ad views.

    • by SirDrinksAlot (226001) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:53AM (#43402245) Journal

      Yea I have no idea what they're complaining about. Instead of fighting Aereo maybe they could work with them instead? When you're broadcasting you have no idea who's watching what and what kind of exposure paying advertisers are getting. Aereo likely knows what channel you're watching and at what time, this seems like ENORMOUSLY valuable information to a broadcaster. If everybody setup a TV tuner in their apartment and streamed it to their device of choice then the broadcaster has no clue what kind of market penetration they're getting.

      It's like cutting off your nose to spite the face.

      • by alexander_686 (957440) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:46AM (#43402887)

        There are 2 downsides with that from the TV perspective –

        First, time-shifted /place-shifted advertisements are worth less. People pay less attention to them. (Live sports, for example, can charge a premium because people don’t time-shifting watching those vents.)

        Secondly, and more importantly, the TV stations would have to share their revenue with Aereo – and more importantly – Aereo would be in the driving seat in terms of negotiations. I think the TV stations would want to go into negotiations in a stronger position.

        So I don’t think they are inherently against it – they just want a larger slice of the pie. (Not saying that we should give it them.).

        • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:09PM (#43403975) Homepage

          Aereo is not time shifting or place shifting. They are providing the 'signal' only to people nominally in the broadcast area who simply have bad reception. The signal is provided live.

          The people using Aereo would otherwise have to subscribe to cable or just not watch TV at all.

          They're already getting a fair piece of their pie. Aereo baked a brand new pie and Fox wants to steal it off of the window sill.

      • by Jerslan (1088525)
        Agreed, and since Aereo isn't cutting out the ads, it gives you pretty solid numbers to feed to advertisers. If they made it true time-shifting (not allowing any fast-fwd through commercials) then it's even better for the networks than DVR numbers.
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:54AM (#43402257)
      Didn't you read "We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content."? Translation: "Someone else is getting some profit off of our stuff. That means we aren't extracting all the value out of it we can. That can't be tolerated." Witness Rupert Murdoch and his battles with google. Losing two dollars to claim a dollar in someone else's pocket seems to be an all-too-common approach to the internet. It will take a while before people realize it's counterproductive to do shit like this. When they see profits going up, they'll attribute it to that, without realizing that it's due to other factors. When their profits go down, they'll use that to further justify this.
    • by j-turkey (187775)

      I suspect that this is the same resistance to a third party pushing content that nearly every IP owner has shown over the years. It has nothing to do with being compensated. It is likely easy to grab viewer metrics from Aereo and renegotiate the value of those viewer impressions with advertisers. I'm guessing that Fox just wants that control - they want to roll their own service, the same way that all of the music publishers wanted to roll their own streaming/subscription service, the same way that the c

    • If they already provide a free over-the-air signal, in order to be available to the most viewers (and therefore to the most advertising targets), isn't another company extending that viewer base at no expense to Fox, Univision, CBS, NBC, ABC a *benefit* to them?

      There's two things you're missing:

      1) OTA networks get paid fees by cable & satellite providers for their content (disputes over these fees sometimes result in certain networks being dropped temporarily by cable & satellite providers). I'm su

      • by Yaur (1069446)
        In order to get NYC OTA feeds through Aero you need to have a NYC street/billing address.
        • You act as if that's difficult. It was done with ease prior to the advent of the internet. Now its simple. The question isn't how to get an NYC street address, but would anyone want to who isn't there already? If Bloomberg were running anyone other place outside the US, there would be UN sanctions against him already.
          "“I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world. I have my own State Department, much to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance." This was said by him on 11/29 20

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What part of "broadcast in the public interest and convenience" are they failing to understand? A significant portion of the country no longer owns televisions nor are interested in non-time-shifted content.

    • A significant portion of the country no longer owns televisions nor are interested in non-time-shifted content.

      Source, please? Your claim is rather extrordinary. Pretty much every person I know owns at least one television, and almost all of them have cable (as much as they complain about the cost).

      • And if any of your acquaintances didn't have a TV, you'd know about it [theonion.com].
      • by lgw (121541)

        Pretty much every person I know owns at least one television, and almost all of them have cable (as much as they complain about the cost).

        Pretty much every person I know has at least one big display/monitor, and almost none of them have cable, instead streaming or torrenting or whatever. I think it's the sports fans (which admittedly is most of the male public) who are still tied to "broadcast" - it's an expensive and awkward way to watch anything that's not realtime.

      • by rockout (1039072)

        Source, please? Your claim is rather extrordinary.

        Not so extraordinary, when it's fact.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/business/media/03television.html

        Even scarier for the TV networks is the reason that TV ownership has dropped - more and more YOUNG PEOPLE don't want and/or need them. As more old folks die off, and those without TV's get older, expect the overall percentage to drop further.

        As for the "who you know without a TV" anecdote - I don't really socialize too much with kids in their 20's (I'm old) but I do know personally of three households wit

    • by fermion (181285)
      I think at this point no broadcaster is doing anything in the public interest. The best thing we can do it takes all that spectrum and give it to firms who will set up affordable Internet acces. We can stream video from those who will make it with the overhead of the networks. I tell you some of the Netflix stuff is better than anything the networks have. Have you seen booth at the end?
  • Good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pecosdave (536896) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:43AM (#43402087) Homepage Journal

    Instead of seeing it as a way to increase their viewing area to their advertisers they're alienating their customer base. I quit watching normal TV years ago, if enough stations do this we could reallocate all that useful TV bandwidth to something useful.

  • Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onyxruby (118189) <.onyxruby. .at. .comcast.net.> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:45AM (#43402117)

    Let's hope all the like companies do this, it would be great for the American public. Once they do this we can then take the considerable bandwidth that is being allocated on TV and use it for more useful things like next generation wireless devices. I for one must encourage this behavior and the removal of public TV from public airwaves. We also gain the benefit of removing decades old indecency standards from the days of the Model T.

    How many people would sign a petition in support of this measure?

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Antipater (2053064) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:55AM (#43402279)
      Broadcast TV allows me to watch programming I enjoy, for free, without my stream lagging to hell whenever my ISP arbitrarily decides to throttle me.

      And I would rather have my indecency standards set by a monolithic, slow-as-molasses bureaucracy than by the whims of a media company.

      Until net neutrality is settled, I would ask that you not sign any petition doing away with public TV.

  • Cancel it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by simonbp (412489) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:46AM (#43402123) Homepage

    Fox is so good at canceling good shows that they thought they'd cancel themselves!

  • Going subsciption only would turn them from one of the 'Big 4' networks to just another cable channel, like TNT or Discovery. I can't believe that this would be good for their ratings or advertising revenue. I guess they could try to demand premium pricing, like ESPN, but they might not have as much luck with that as they think.

    I fail to see why these companies don't have a problem blasting their signal free out into the ether for anyone to receive, but the instant you try to blast it free into the int
    • Going subsciption only would turn them from one of the 'Big 4' networks to just another cable channel, like TNT or Discovery.

      Fox's network channel would get stomped in a cable lineup.

    • "...but the instant you try to blast it free into the internet for anyone to see..."

      Well, Aereo isn't really quite doing that...they're giving you an antenna (that is exclusively YOURS) that you can log in to and watch whatever that antenna is receiving. No one else can log into your antenna. This is why it was ruled legal, it's not a publicly-available centralized broadcast.
  • And by "May"... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:47AM (#43402139)

    And, of course, by "may go subscription" you really mean "are spouting entirely hollow threats because everyone knows they're not going to throw away their broadcast money just to spite one company."

    • And, of course, by "may go subscription" you really mean "are spouting entirely hollow threats because everyone knows they're not going to throw away their broadcast money just to spite one company."

      Not that this would ever happen, of course; but if somebody at the FCC had actual nerve they'd do a little perspective inversion at this point:

      "Oh, so you now think that the economics of your use of some prime RF spectrum allocations are unsustainable? Good to know, we've got people who are substantially more optimistic about their ideas and would love to have access to it(any of the 'whitespace' networking technologies, for instance, would work substantially better, and be much easier to set up, if there w

  • by NevarMore (248971) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:50AM (#43402191) Homepage Journal

    "We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content. " - Don't you sell advertisements to get paid? I never recall getting a bill for OTA TV .

    • I could be wrong, but I believe that is their point. OTA TV is funded by commercials. Commercial rates are based on viewership, and the assumption that those viewers (or some percentage of them) are actually watching the commercials. I believe the objection comes from the ability to skip commercials via Aereo's restreaming technology. They get a different rate from cable companies, which I believe includes some compensation for the DVRs that the cable company rents out to customers. Since the courts hav
      • Aereo also allows live viewing, and you can't really skip commercials in that.
    • by grumpyman (849537)
      Actually I think they get paid by the volume of viewer watching the ads (via price of advert)! In effect they should compensate Aereo for distributing to larger audience!
  • by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:55AM (#43402269)

    What a ridiculous, childish tantrum.

    Their arguments, that format-shifting is depriving them of revenue -- make about as much sense as an angry, stompy blue-faced toddler.

    I would say that this stupid, childish dummy spit is aimed purely at screwing money out of Aereo. That in itself is fine. What ISN'T fine, is these overfed elite con artists insulting everyones' intelligence in the process.

  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:00AM (#43402337) Homepage

    They're complaining that the courts and government are not protecting their rights. Their copyrights.

    But copyrights exist at the discretion of the government. If 17 USC 107 provides a fair use exception to copyright. And if time shifting is fair use. Then there are no rights to protect.

    It's not the government's job to protect your IP rights. The government grants you a monopoly covering certain aspects of a work. If the government decides that time shifting is not a violation of copyrights, you don't have that right. Deal with it.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:03AM (#43402373) Journal

    Broadcast TV sits right in the middle of some pretty nice spectrum. Any broadcaster who doesn't like the economics of broadcasting is more than welcome to step aside and let us find some more productive use of that spectrum. Not that I think Fox is serious; but I'd be delighted if they were.

  • A switch to a pay-TV subscription model would stymie Aereo but could hurt affiliate stations

    Can they even do this? Don't affiliates have multi-year contracts, with exclusive territory agreements ? Who would agree to be a network affiliate if they could just pull the plug from you at any time?

    • by schlesinm (934723)
      Exactly. With the exception of the 27 (or so) stations actually owned by Fox, they have no ability to stop their affiliates from transmitting programs over the air.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      No, this is just an empty threat because they did not get their way. You see this behavior a lot in toddlers and people of that level of development.

  • Inevitable step (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Average (648) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:19AM (#43402547)

    This was an inevitable step once we went down the path of allowing OTA broadcasters to start demanding payments for retransmission on cable (originally "Community Antenna TV"). That was a stupid step to begin with... you're sending an unencrypted signal into my house... why do you care how I get it or if I let a middleman bring it to me? It is also inevitable once the broadcasters started getting bought by pay-TV companies (Disney, Comcast, etc).

    For FOX, though, I don't think their #1 TV property (a little thing called the NFL) is going to be real happy at all with them becoming 'yet another cable station'.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      It wasn't a stupid step. it was an example of that your Civic leaders are greedy asshats that will happily take a bribe to throw your rights under the bus. Blame your town mayor, and every elected representative you have. Your city or town has a "franchise" agreement with cable companies. It's a legal kickback of money for allowing them to strongarm customers and keep competition out.

    • The difference with cable is that with cable, all subscribers are accessing the same feed, hence making it a paid-for public performance. This is not true with Aereo. With Aereo, each customer gets his/her own dime-sized antenna (locked by password) that only picks up normal broadcast stations. That's a significant difference, and why it's not considered a "public" performance like cable TV is.
  • Interesting, so they figure if they go cable-only they can try to get more money than they otherwise might via retransmission fees.

    I'm not so sure that the cable carriers would be heartbroken to see this happen. Right now I suspect they're mostly having to pay Fox for the "privilege" of carrying the over-the-air content, but a change like this might well mean that the network was paying to be carried instead.
  • by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:38AM (#43402793) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me that Aereo is a centralized equivalent of a Slingbox, just, well, centralized.

    So of that's the case, the complaint by broadcasters would be, what?

    - Infinging on sales of any mobile app they have to enable place-shifting their programming?
    - The age-old argument that time-shifting is wrong? We fought that fight and won I think.
    - Opposing Aereo because they mess with various ratings and data collection? This, BTW, I believe would be enough to justify the fight by itself.
    - Opposing Aereo because they don't want to have to buy the data *again*? See above.

    Same fight going on with Dish and the Hopper. Lack of 'control', which in the current environment is really failing to reocgnize that fight is already lost. We can place-shift, time-shift, do both at once. We have multiple ways. If these channels expect to be able to get me to pay for content with my eyeballs (commercials), or a mobile app for convenience, and get more and more revenue for the same content, they have a challenge. I'm not far from focusing my interests on programming that is given to me cheaply, be it Neflix or YouTube, or something else. The dinosaurs are fighting it out, but they will lose.

    And I can't see this fast enough. Adapt or die, losers.

  • I Dare Fox to pull from OTA and go subscription only. They really as a network have only about 6 hours of programming a day. all the rest is created by the local stations.

    Go ahead Fox... pull out and go Subscription only. I DARE YOU.

    • They only have 1 show that I watch anyway. I wouldn't miss it. The rest is garbage (and arguably, so is that one show).

  • FOX actually puts on some very interesting and good shows. Without FOX, we wouldn't have X-Files, Fringe, Firefly (yes they did cancel it), Simpsons (Season 1-10, the rest don't exist), and Futurama (Season 1-5). They're about the only one crazy enough to try shows like X-Files, Terra Nova or Fringe. You knew going in that Fringe was going to have a limited audience but FOX still gave them enough time to completely the main story arc.

  • Then we can reward Aereo for killing Fox.
  • The NFL Broadcasts it's NFC division games on FOX. I don't think they'd be happy to lose half their Sunday audience.

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

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