If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… and if your cohorts can’t crush ‘em in court, crush ‘em in the market. Aereo is a streaming television service that has made a lot of waves recently. The pay service allows subscribers in certain regions to stream a handful of channels to PCs, smartphones and tablets for $8 per month. And according to broadcasters, Aereo is stealing their content. Aereo is being sued by several broadcasters including CBS, which alleges that the company is stealing its content and transmitting it over the Internet to subscribers. Aereo has not yet been shut down by these suits, however, and now major service providers including DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are planning to launch similar services of their own in the event Aereo prevails in court, Bloomberg reports. More →
The idea of a la carte cable programming that would allow subscribers to pick and choose the stations they pay for is one that we have all dreamt of for years now. Some pay TV executives tease us from time to time and talk about how a la carte options might become available at some point in the future, but at least one CEO isn’t shy in stating that cable operators will never split up channel packages. ”If you had to pay separately for just PBS, probably, sadly, not a majority of Americans would do that,” Comcast’s chief executive Brian Roberts told PBS in an interview. “So there’s many channels, whether it’s Discovery Channel or C-SPAN or many, many others, that just aren’t viable. You can’t just buy the sports section of The New York Times. You take the whole paper.” Roberts also noted that he believes pay TV streaming startup Aereo is breaking the law by stealing content and rebroadcasting it without permission. Comcast’s NBCUniversal is one of several broadcasters currently suing Aereo in an effort to have the service shut down.