Hilarious And Ridiculous: Networks Threaten To Pull Channels Off The Air If Aereo & Dish Win Lawsuits

from the call-their-bluff dept

The entertainment industry has a long, long history of claiming that if copyright law doesn't go their way, they'll all go out of business. It's the adult version of "if you don't do it my way, I'm taking my ball and going home." If court cases don't go their way, or if the law isn't changed, we've been told over and over and over again for the last century (and more frequently in the last two decades) that the industry will take its ball and go home, because they won't create under such awful circumstances (even if those circumstances really aren't particularly different than they've operated under for years). The latest? First, Fox's COO, Chase Carey, claims that if they lose the Aereo case, they might shut down Fox, the network TV channel, and move all its content to cable TV channels.
“If we can’t have our rights properly protected through legal and governmental solutions, we will pursue business solution. One solution would be to take the network and make it a subscription service. We’re not going to sit idly by and let people steal our content.”
That came out about the same time as another quote from a TV exec, Garth Ancier, who has worked at Fox, NBC and WB, basically saying the same thing, arguing that an unnamed "two" of the four major networks are considering shutting down if the Aereo case (and possibly the Dish Auto Hopper case) goes against them.
“I know two that are talking about it,” he says, leaving open the possibility that the others might be as well. He declines to specify which, saying he’d heard it in a “talking over coffee” setting and didn’t want to betray a confidence....

“To say it’s serious is probably an overstatement,” Ancier says. Rather, it’s a contingency plan the networks in question are keeping in their back pockets in case they can’t prevail over Aereo and Dish in court or find some other way to stave off the threat they represent.
Let's be the first to call bullshit on this. No networks are stupid enough to shut down over this, and if they are, good riddance. Put that spectrum to better use. First of all, network TV shows get a lot more viewers. By a wide margin. Yes, there's an occasional cable show (Game of Thrones) that sneaks in to the top ratings, but it's pretty rare. The cable shows that get the most viewers are still viewed a lot less often than most network shows. If you look at Nielsen's latest rankings for last week, the top 10 network shows all scored higher ratings than the top cable show (Walking Dead). And by the time you're at the 4th most popular cable show, you're talking about a show that's getting just around half of the tenth most popular network show.

No network with any business sense at all is going to give up that prime position for getting viewers, and shunt themselves off into the hinterlands of cable TV. And, seriously, if they do want to cede that position, I'm sure there are plenty of smart folks willing to take over that position. And, of course, nothing that Aereo or Dish Hopper is trying to do does anything to threaten the traditional business model of network TV in the first place: ads. In fact, both serve to increase viewers. The real issue is that the networks have gotten fat and happy off of the money they get from cable and satellite companies for carrying the networks, and they don't want that gravy train to go away. So, an artificial situation came up that let them get lots of money, and now that it might go away (and reality is that it won't go away for a long long time) they're threatening to take their ball and go home?

This is clearly bullshit whining from the networks hoping that lawmakers will protect their revenues from cable and satellite providers. It has nothing to do with "stealing content" as Carey claims. Policy makers would be well served to call the networks' bluff. Let the cases play out and let's see (1) if the networks really give up their prime real estate and (2) if others don't rush in to make use of it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Um...

    And by the time you're at the 4th most popular cable show, you're talking about a show that's getting just around half of the tenth most popular cable show.

    Don't you mean 10th most popular NETWORK show?

     

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Posturing

    This is the networks posturing so when they phone up their senators they can point to it and say "See we warned you".

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    This right here...

    "If we canít have our rights properly protected through legal and governmental solutions, we will pursue business solution."

    This right here encapsulates everything that is wrong in the heads of those dependant on the insane version of copyright that we have today.

    Business solutions (IOW adapting to the market) are seen as a last resort only after government lobbying and threats from lawyers have failed. That statement shows they have no desire to actually serve their customers and give them what they ask for (convenience, quality, and reasonable prices).

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Um...

    Don't you mean 10th most popular NETWORK show?


    Yes... fixing.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:54pm

    Hope they do

    Good way to put themselves out of business

     

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  6.  
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    Warbert, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    As I said on deadline...

    Idle threat, itíll never happen. I hope aero wins though, both because they are doing nothing wrong and to see broadcast networks squirm because of disruptive technology they canít control.

    As Robert A Heinlein said, ďThere 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 public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or 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.Ē

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    Opps Aereo.

     

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    FarSide (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    The part that bugs me the most is the shows that are in the top 10...

    I mean, sure, the Duck Dynasty guys have some kickin' beards. But 2 spots? C'mon people!

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    All I can say is DO IT! DO IT NOW! Kill yourselves so we can get on with it.

    There are so many people out there that would be happy to have eyeballs for their content. The networks are not alone in the universe anymore.

    How long do we have to wait before these multi-national media conglomerates crumble? It's tiring.

     

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    Cord Cutter, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Good Riddance

    WAY back in the day, I moved from broadcast to cable because the commercials were insulting my intelligence. Then the commercials came to cable, and I went to VHS. That worked out for a while (including a transition to DVD). Then the ads came to DVDs.

    Of course, now, the commercials don't seem so egregious; it's the network content that makes me want to invest in a Home Lobotomy Kit.

    Thanks, but no thanks, Network TV. Your content is useless drivel and your business model is dead, even if you don't know it. Take your broken ball and get off my playground.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    Let's hold them to their statements. Put it in writing. If Aero wins, make the networks commit to their statements.

     

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    JWW (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    Cmon FCC

    It would be great if the FCC would get a wiff of this.

    If the networks don't want the spectrum GIVEN to the stations, then take it away and let the people do something with it.

    The FCC should have a few hearings on this so the network reps can rush there and tell us how much their statements were misunderstood.

    Stories like this just fuel my dream to build a time machine to go back and make sure the VCR and Cable TV are outlawed. Then I could return to the present day were TV Companies and Movie Companies either don't exist anymore or exist in a very weakened state....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    If I get this right, with aero, they are complaining about someone giving them more viewers for free to air TV. Going subscription only on cable would meet their apparent objective or reducing the number of viewers.

     

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    PlagueSD (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

    That came out about the same time as another quote from a TV exec, Garth Ancier, who has worked at Fox, NBC and WB, basically saying the same thing, arguing that an unnamed "two" of the four major networks are considering shutting down


    I really wouldn't mind if FOX and CW/WB went off the air. I know I'm not the only one...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Weíre not going to sit idly by and let people steal our content.

    ...This coming from someone who intentionally broadcasts their content for free public consumption.
    Reminds me of the RIAA screaming their heads off about piracy while illegally bribing DJs to play their songs more often. "People listening to our music for free is great, but people listening to our music without having to pay for it is terrible!"

     

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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Did Adam Orth send him a gift basket?

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    [Stomps away taking ball with them]

    [No one cares.]

     

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  18.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:29pm

    Kidding aside

    They arent going anywhere. Lets call it for what it is... an empty threat trying to gain attention. Making money hand over fist and they are just going to walk away... yeah ok.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    Honey Boo Boo... nuff said.

     

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  20.  
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    Lesath (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Man, the only network I watch is CBS. IF they were to shut down, I would be sad but I would find other things to do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:41pm

    It's the adult version of "if you don't do it my way, I'm taking my ball and going home."

    That is too much credit. There is nothing adult about it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    F@#$ Fox, and their attempt at even being a network, Good riddance.

     

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  23.  
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    Ezekial, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    Re:

    There is also a group of people that think just because a company made a profit out of the public for a number of years, that they made enough and no longer deserve a profit and should continue to operate the business in a nonprofit mode. That is bullshit to me. Nobody has a right to free TV service.

     

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  24.  
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    Silbaco, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    OTA

    They wouldn't necessarily go off the air. They could simply encrypt it and require a subscription if you want to watch their channels. DTV makes this very easy.

     

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  25.  
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    Edward Teach, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Aye, mate

    Arrr! Right you are, mate! The snivelin' Fox landlubbers can go pound sand on a desert island! They will not be missed by anyone, except for fans of the God Forsaken heathen series, "Glee".

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    I would miss CW. I only watch 1 show on there, Arrow, but they offer something other networks won't. They are willing to take more risks and they have a tendency to keep existing shows even if ratings are not so hot.

     

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  27.  
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    gorehound (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Re: This right here...

    Been saying for years that whole MAFIAA Industry are a bunch of fucking assholes.
    Hope this News Story on the whole Fiasco goes Streisland on them.People should learn what they are doing to them.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Isn't CW also Supernatural? I'd miss that a lot.

     

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  29.  
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    JP Jones (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re:

    There is also a group of people that think just because a company made a profit out of the public for a number of years, that they made enough and no longer deserve a profit and should continue to operate the business in a nonprofit mode. That is bullshit to me. Nobody has a right to free TV service.

    No one "deserves" a profit. You earn a profit. This is the problem right here.

    Why not just stream their network TV through the internet? Aero would go away in a heartbeat because that's what customers want. They won't because...because. Because they've been making money the other way and never want it to end.

    That's bullshit. Do corded phone manufactures deserve profits? What about the poor typewriter manufacturers? You know, those horse-and-buggy guys sure got screwed by these newfangled "car" things. Where's the profits they deserve?

    TV is like the VCR and cassette tape; old technology that no longer has relevance to the modern world. The TV distributers either need to update to new tech or GTFO.

    Nobody has a right to legislate their business model.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    The question

    I think the really important question on their threat (or any other copyright maximalism vs publicright maximalism argument) is:

    If we lose something (e.g. Free-to-air), and we valued it economically how long to get it back if rules were tweaked back? On the other hand, if we lose a right (e.g. First sale) and we valued it as a personal right, what can be done to reinstate it?

    My opinion is that, even if we assume the CM bluff and that it was right, and we lose something, the rules could be changed back fairly easily and we'd lose very little.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    Re:

    I heartily agree. And think of all of the bandwidth that would be returned to the public so that it could be put to good use.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    So the whole worry here from the Network perspective is really the potential of losing the millions they make off of retransmission fees that Comcast/Time Warner etc, pay them.

    Here's the thing it was only 2010 that they even started to be paid for those rights.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-08/news-corp-says-it-will-take-fox-off-air-if-courts-ok-ae reo-1-.html

     

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  33.  
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    Drew, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    The broadcasters are complaining because people who actually watch using an antenna (or Aereo) will not provide them with per-subscriber "carriage fees" the way that cable companies do.
    Since all cable packages already include them and would be unlikely to drop them (in the short term) if they stopped over-the-air broadcasting, their numbers could show that the risk of losing viewers is a better option than losing the carriage fees.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:16pm

    I say "Let 'Em". Go ahead and pull the plug on all content. Shut it all down.

    The world needs plumbers.

     

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  35.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Cable

    > if they lose the Aereo case, they might
    > shut down Fox, the network TV channel,
    > and move all its content to cable TV channels.

    Awesome. That would only make the shows better, in my opinion. No longer having to worry about the FCC's ridiculous 'decency standards' allows shows to really open up and deliver unsanitized drama. Most of the shows I watch now aren't on broadcast for that very reason-- JUSTIFIED, THE AMERICANS, SONS OF ANARCHY, GAME OF THRONES, WALKING DEAD, HOUSE OF LIES, CALIFORNICATION, DEXTER, SOUTHLAND, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, TRUE BLOOD, etc.

    Cable is where the quality is these days. FOX moving there wouldn't be a bad thing, even if their reason for doing it is just a whiny bit of nonsense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    If anyone makes a judgement based on this "threat" then they are truly lost. Like someone mentioned earlier, it is getting tiring, and even though we will continue to object, it would somehow be relieving to know exactly how lost society has become... even if it is bad news.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Isn't CW also Supernatural? I'd miss that a lot."

    Supernatural is re-running on TBS or TNT.
    If the CW drops, it could move to the Turner stations...

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Cmon FCC

    > Stories like this just fuel my dream to build
    > a time machine to go back and make sure the
    > VCR and Cable TV are outlawed.

    Just curious, even if you had such a machine, on what legal basis would you be able to outlaw those things?

     

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  39.  
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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually anyone with an antennae can have free TV service. You pay for it by watching ads called commercials. There are many people just like myself that only receive TV this way. If the networks close down and move to a subscription model through cable, then there are a lot of other people just like myself who will simply live without them. The end.

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Too bad they didn't stop at "shut down Fox"

    ... Fox's COO, Chase Carey, claims that if they lose the Aereo case, they might shut down Fox, the network TV channel, and move all its content to cable TV channels.

    And nothing of value was lost.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    Idiot networks. These execs have nothing to say about it. First, they don't own the networks, they only work for the company. Second, this would have to be something that they would need to take to the shareholders, whom they answer to.

    And, Finally, 99% of the content that these networks produce are CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!!! 80% of the crap on television today consists of reality television and in giving President Obama and Paul Krugman facetime in the media.

    There are not a lot of decent programming that's being broadcasted. The one show that had promise, SMASH, is failing because NBC execs decided they wanted to be directed involved in the producing the show. As a result, they fired the lady who created and produced it, replaced her with some idiot guy who has destroyed the show and moved the show to a dead zone in television broadcast history.

    Take your networks off the air, just gives me more time to read a good book.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Lose the off the air viewers, whether using their own or Aereo's antennas and their advertising revenue will tumble. People using Aereo are obviously not cable subscribers, so they are throwing away audience.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Mr. Rodgers and Sesame Street are on free TV and Mr. Rodgers said that we have a right to watch his program in a way that's easy for us.

    I think you're wrong.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Cmon FCC

    Patent law.

     

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    Keroberos (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Hmmm...If they don't get their way and can't block a service that allows people to watch their shows with the ads intact (what gets them paid), they'll stop broadcasting OTA and send everyone to the pirate sites (which doesn't get them paid).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    Go right ahead and we will get others dying to have the chance to fill the spot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    They can block it. They can encrypt it and force you to pay a subscription.

     

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  48.  
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    crade (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:48pm

    Re: This right here...

    My first thought when I read this was:
    Good! Finally! Pursue business solutions. At least then when you're solutions are moronic you only take yourself down.

     

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  49.  
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    Big Mook, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    The reason "Smash" is failing has nothing to do with TV execs and everything to do with the fact that there aren't enough middle-aged women and gay men to keep the show afloat.

    Funny no one has mentioned "The Following" on FOX. Now that's a good network program with a sufficient amount of murder and gore; add some real curse words and a little nudity and it would rival the cable stuff.

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cmon FCC

    Just do what they do today, use the "mafiaa doesn't like it" law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Cable

    Dude,

    Have you been watching my DVR again?

     

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    MitchEFF, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:19pm

    Two networks colluding "over coffee"

    Really, competing network executives talking "over coffee" about boycotting the airwaves? I would say that they're smart enough not to violate antitrust law and then talk about it, but it's happened before.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Hope they do

    Not really. All they have to do is drop their OTA broadcasts from a few select major markets where they're already available on cable, and they'll put Aereo out of business.

     

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    Ron (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Cool Thought

    Wouldn't it be cool if Aereo and the cable companies cut a deal to use Aereo's technology and removed the cost of the over the air channels from the bill? Or threaten to use the technology to get a better deal?

     

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    Ron (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Hope they do

    I don't think the networks can afford the lose the advertising dollars from markets like New York. Aereo is going into the big markets first markets networks can't lose.

     

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    charliebrown (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 5:47pm

    I should actually watch it one day

    Dear Fox,

    If you moved to cable, I would not miss any good Fox shows. Think about why

    Signed
    AUSTRALIAN "Game Of Thrones" Fan
    i.e. a CABLE show
    Have you worked it out yet?

     

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  57.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Supernatural is re-running on TBS or TNT.
    If the CW drops, it could move to the Turner stations...


    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't TBS/TNT a cable only network? How would moving those to TBS/TNT help someone who has gotten off of cable and is digesting over-the-air broadcasting if that over-the-air channel disappears?

    Sure, it would still exist if it moved stations, but why would CW die if it was still accessible on cable?

    It just wouldn't be available to those who cut the cable.

     

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  58.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

    Re:

    Man, the only network I watch is CBS. IF they were to shut down, I would be sad but I would find other things to do.

    So long as they didn't kill their web presence, shouldn't be much of an issue. The only show on CBS I watch religiously is Big Bang, and they stream it from their website.

    I actually can't get them from my house, ever since they went digital. My digital receiver looks cross-eyed whenever I try to connect because their signal is too weak and too far away. The only time I've seen them recently (since cutting the cord) is when I had my RV in a campsite a couple miles from them and they came in clear.

     

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    kenichi tanaka, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:13pm

    The more I read about this, the more I'm convinced that Aereo has swindled the courts into believing that they are a legalized service. The courts should be addressing the issue of whether Aereo is compensating these TV networks for the signals that they are broadcasting.

    Now, I don't understand a lot of this but I do know that when it comes to broadcast rights, that anyone who wants to rebroadcast these TV networks signals needs to get authorization from those networks in order to do that.

    It also sounds like that Aereo isn't compensating these networks and has acquired a single broadcast signal and transformed that into a business model.

    Don't get me wrong. I think content providers are the worst lot in this country because of how they stifle ways to receive their content. But, this Aereo case has been nothing but one major scam on the courts and someone down the line is going to declare Aereo to be infringing on the rights of these networks and either force them to start paying up and order them to halt their service.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Hope they do

    Not exactly clear on the terms of their spectrum licenses, but wouldn't that put their spectrum in jeopardy?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re:

    They can block it. They can encrypt it and force you to pay a subscription.

    Not legally. The FCC public broadcast license will not allow them to encrypt it. In a matter of fact, until recently, cable companies which rebroadcasted public television stations were not legally allowed to encrypt them either (they have found other ways of dealing with it now.) The cable companies have been complaining about that for some time, because they all had "Essential" tiers which had the local broadcast channels plus a few basic cable channels for a huge discount (I believe I was paying about $35 for it, at the time.) The problem was, the person could cut out all the channels and just use broadband, and could still receive the broadcast channels without "paying for it".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Partially correct. The FCC is very lenient on what they use their 6Mhz of spectrum for beyond offering their primary channel.

    ION is current using some of their spectrum for a service called Dyle. It will have a couple free stations, the rest will be encrypted and require a subscription.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You make a good point. All the broadcasters have to do is pay Aero to forward some anonymized subscriber information that they can pass along to advertisers and say, "Hey advertisers, look, Neilsen Plus!"

    Oh wait...pay Aero? Maybe that is what has their panties in a twist. They can't figure out a way to monetized Aero's users without PAYING THEM. They would need Aero's information to quantify and qualify those users to advertisers. And that just burns their cookies.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Aye, mate

    Maybe by NASCAR viewers. They seem to have the NASCAR TV franchise this year. That would piss a whole lot of gun toting, exhaust fume inebriated, evangelists of speed directly off. That might actually catch Rupert's attention, if they speak up.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re:

    see keroberos above

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    Re:

    look at the case law kenichi wa

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    Actually. NBC moving all its programming to cable might be better for them, as far as sports programming goes, especially the Olympics.

    The real reason NBC does not show a lot of Olympic events live, coast to coast even when the Olympics are in a suitable time zone to do so, is that local stations don't want to give up all their local programming, especially their news.

    By going to cable, NBC won't have that problem anymore with local broadcast affiliates, and will be able to broadcast Olympics, and other international sporting events, live, coast to coast.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cmon FCC

    > Just do what they do today, use the "mafiaa doesn't like it" law.

    They tried that. Every studio, label, and advertiser lined up to sue the VCR out of existence. Resulted in a massive loss for the 'mafiaa' and the legalization of not only the VCR but carved out personal time-shifting as specifically not infringing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hope they do

    Yep someone should have the FCC license challenges ready to go the instant a network goes dark OTA. In NYC where AERO is set up I believe all the network stations are network owned so it will be a double hit. Once those challenges go live the stock holders should be suing the corporations for damaging their own brand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    Ann Onymous (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    The author has missed the point

    If Fox "pulls" their "channels off the air", what happens? Nothing.

    The only people affected are the tiny percentage who only receive their Fox TV programming using TV antennas.

    The vast majority of viewers connect their TVs to cable, satellite, or some form of IPTV like u-verse. The TV signal is sent to the providers over leased lines and then sent to the user over the providers' cables or satellites. No broadcast was necessary. No broadcast frequencies were used to get the signal to the viewer.

    What Fox is talking about is turning off those big 100,000 watt transmitters that almost no one is using anyway. No programming changes, no programming goes away, and the vast majority of US TV viewers are completely unaffected.

    Aereo doesn't work without the radio signal broadcasts, and Aereo can't use any other feed to send to their customers because only the radio-frequency broadcast feed falls into the loophole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    Fox threatening to shut down completely if Aero wins is about the most blatant invitation to support Aero that's ever been publicly stated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    Ann Onymous (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    The author has missed the point

    If Fox "pulls" their "channels off the air", what happens? Nothing.

    The only people affected are the tiny percentage who only receive their Fox TV programming using TV antennas.

    The vast majority of viewers connect their TVs to cable, satellite, or some form of IPTV like u-verse. The TV signal is sent to the providers by leased lines and then sent to the user. No broadcast was necessary. No broadcast frequencies were used to get the signal to the viewer.

    What Fox is talking about is turning off those big 100,000 watt transmitters that almost no one is using anyway. No programming changes, no programming goes away, and the vast majority of US TV viewers are completely unaffected.

    Aereo doesn't work without the radio signal broadcasts, and Aereo can't use any other feed to send to their customers because only the radio-frequency broadcast feed falls into the loophole.

    The FCC does not have regulation authority over direct-to-viewer providers, thus, since Fox is no longer "broadcasting" over public airwaves Fox no longer requires any FCC license to operate.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re:

    If the stations try scrambling over-the-air signals, they will have the same kind of piracy problem that companies like StarTV did back in the 1980s.

    People would build their own "pirate" descramblers to get the over the air signal, and were all but impossible to catch, unlike someone doing it on cable or satellite.

    Another problem is that cable/satellite theft laws would have to be amended to cover this. The reason nobody ever got prosecuted for stealing encrypted over the air signals from TV stations is because cable/satellite theft laws do not cover this. Yes, you read this right, if you were stealing contant from scrambled over the air signals, mostly on UHF, back in the 1980s, you were not breaking any laws, because the laws regarding cable and satellite theft do not cover stealing scrambled over the air UHF signals coming from your local TV station.

    And building a descrambler to get over the air scrambled services like StarTV, was rediculouslu easy. I did that, as a teen, back in the 1980s. Just a few dollars worth of components from the local Radio Shack is all that it took. In less than an hour, I was getting StarTV for free.

    And since the cable theft laws did not, and still do not, cover stealing encrypted transmissions from your local over air TV station, I was not breaking any laws by doing that, back in the 1980s

    Before TV stations try over the air scrambled progamming again, the laws regarding cable theft will have to be amended to cover that.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    techinabox (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 8:48pm

    DO IT!!

    I want all that beautiful spectrum for Wifi!

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    kenichi tanaka, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    These netwporks would not shut down. They would just turn into another cable station, like AMC, USA, TNT and the rest of them. Actually, I'm surprised they haven't done that before now and they would be able to create an entire subset of Cable channel under their network umbrella. This would effectively end Aereo, as their subscribers would abandon the company and these networks could create an even better demand for their programming content.

    Somehow, this is going to be bad news for Aereo and force these networks to deal with these issues head on. I just see these broadcasting networks drastically changing the face of local television programming because there would be no more affiliate stations and it would decimate the entire broadcast community.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 9:16pm

    Oh please do Faux I'm begging you, shut down, now, and never come back!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    kenichi tanaka, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 9:44pm

    You are confusing Fox news with the Fox Network of TV shows and movies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hope they do

    You have a serious reading comprehension issue. May I humbly suggest that you address that before wasting minutes of your life on a NYC OTA broadcast problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's basically it. If they can't get money from it, it must be killed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Where is this group of people? Do they perhaps have a website?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hope they do

    Good luck with that.

    Btw, I imagine a few random "sorry for the interruption" incidents would make life interesting for the aereo business model.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    Vidiot (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:13pm

    Re: OTA

    And that would lose them their FCC license.

     

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  83.  
    icon
    Vidiot (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:18pm

    Re:

    It's not easy for me to attach my OTA antenna to my chimney; so I attached it to Aereo's server rack. Much safer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I can foresee at least an attempt to use the "technological protection measures" part of the DMCA for this one. Not sure it's applicable, but that rarely stops anyone trying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 12:37am

    Dumbest threat ever

    If the networks consider moving to a cable or subscription service as a "business solution" then the execs who support that decision should be fired for incompetence.

    It's not even I'll take my ball and go home. It's more like "I'll deflate my ball and play with it in private and you will all want it more."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 1:23am

    Re: Best attempt at a pirate-istic lawyer threat ever

    maybe?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hope they do

    ZOMGZ!1! People are carrying our newspapers places where our carriers won't go, and they are MAKING MONEY doing so! They aree 'leaching' from us!

    But I'm sure a few 'there were no newspapers printed today' incidents would make life interesting for their business model...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 3:22am

    so, more than anything, these pricks expect the law to be changed, yet again, simply to protect them, rather than them have to do whatever they need to do, whatever they should have been doing all along, offer a class of service that actually competes with another service? if that is the case, let them shut!! if they are so concerned that this other service is going to put them out of business, their service cant be much good and isn't worth keeping running anyway!

     

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  89. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 3:50am

    Re:

    Eh?

    Mike Masnick is whining about about disruption to the Aereo business model.

    Boo hoo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Broadcast Flag anyone

    This reeks of the Broadcast Flag where the Networks told everyone that they wouldn't upgrade their services to HD unless there was a broadcast flag on every broadcast and a FRITZ Chip in every computer.

    After it stalled in Congress, they went whining to the FCC and the FCC gave out a mandate that was quickly slapped down by the courts.

    Same stuff, different year. I stopped watching FOX about ... 2007, so go ahead and go off broadcast TV, I don't watch you anyway.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    They won't do it

    It's all hot air. They can't shut down OTA broadcasts. Ever.

    Why? Because MLB, NBA, and NFL would take them out back and beat the ever living shit out of them.

    As for the the networks that don't carry the big three? They'd be placing themselves into an extinction position by making sure that they never will carry one of the big three in the future.

     

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  92.  
    icon
    Aztecian (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Yabbut wait!

    I sense a latent implication that the networks going out of business would somehow be a bad thing.

    And here I was daydreaming (still legal in New Mexico) about what we'd replace it with once it was finally gone.

    As much as I miss the wonders brought to us by record labels and television (The Monkees!), once those industries were destroyed by VCRs and cassette tape recorders it wasn't all that bad.

    I find I somehow enjoy the desolation and economic mayhem we've been left with since the loss of more jobs than there are humans on the planet, and the total loss of all art.

    It's an acquired taste, I guess.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 7:23am

    DO IT FGT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Don't know if this is a big deal. In 2009 only 12 million households had no cable/satellite. That number has to be much lower now.

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/04/06/25-things-vanishing-in-america-part-2-homes-without-c able/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Re: Good Riddance

    ooooo, don't get me started:
    PISSES me off that i go to a freakin' MOVIE theater and not only sit through 20 minutes of stupid previews of stupid movies i am not interested in and will never see, but NOW i get TEE VEE COMMERCIALS i am forced to watch in a freaking MOVIE theater...
    gee, why is it i only go when i'm 'forced' to by SWMBO and/or grandmonsters ? ? ?

    'CAUSE BIG MEDIA SUX ! ! !
    fuckers

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  96.  
    icon
    Oblate (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    Re: Posturing

    Hopefully the senators say "didn't see it yet but have it recorded for later".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    XracerJohn, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Stream

    I don't remember the last time I actually watched a broadcast show (big networks). I cut the cable six years ago, and I live just a little bit too far to get decent reception for over-the-air local channels, so I stream all my content. And, the rest of the time I spend reading, cycling, or with my friends. I choose to do this, not because of price, but because TV content is just a bunch of crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: profit

    No one "deserves" a profit at all! Son, you need to earn it every day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    icon
    Dave (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: They won't do it

    I was just thinking the same thing, especially given Fox's 9-year, $10-billion deal with the NFL that goes into effect next March. Pretty sure Roger Goodell would remind Chase Carey of a few 11-figure cancellation fees in that contract if Fox shuts down its broadcast network. The NFL wants as many eyeballs as possible.

    The NBA, on the other hand, makes all its money from ESPN and Turner. If ABC disappears, I'm not sure the NBA would miss it that much, save for Xmas-day hoops and the Finals.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Cellphones

    At this stage, the highest and best use of television-frequency spectrum is cellphones. When a broadcaster announces that it is about to "pull the plug," I feel sure that said broadcaster has worked out a plan to resell the bandwidth for cellphones. What it comes down to is that there are lots of ways you can transmit a television signal, but not so many ways you can reach a cellphone inside of a concrete building.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090713/1916365532.shtml#c105
    http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Television_channel_frequencies

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    J.J., Apr 9th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Dish and Aereo are only the beginning of the networks' troubles

    Every day another service pops up trying to munch away on the networks revenue streams.
    I came across www.commercialbreak.com
    This is hilarious!
    Letting viewers avoid watching commercials on live TV. It's different than the Dish service but also aims at giving viewers what they really want, which is the content without the commercials. Pretty cool, if you ask me, and it's free!! (I don't get it ???)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    RD, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re:

    "That is bullshit to me. Nobody has a right to free TV service."

    And yet, I have been watching TV for free for over 4 decades. Maybe the bullshit around here is your maxist viewpoint.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Apr 10th, 2013 @ 9:24pm

    It is Broadcast Which Gets a Station onto Cable.

    Television stations have to broadcast in order to gain free cable carriage. To be precise, television stations broadcast on over-the-air frequencies which they were granted by the federal government, on the condition that they broadcast in the public interest. This is a different situation from cellphone operators, who generally bought their frequencies at public auction. In turn, Federal communications law requires cable operators to carry local television over-the-air broadcast stations for free. In large urban markets, there are very often two or more affiliates of a given network on the cable system, and the cable system doesn't want to carry both or all of them, only it has no choice. If the local television station stopped broadcasting, that might well mean that it would be dropped from the cable system, in favor of yet another cable shopping channel. There is no obligation for the cable system to carry a national network without local broadcasting stations,and the cable system can charge whatever the traffic will bear.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---
    http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cable-carriage-broadcast-stations
    http://www.fcc.gov/guides/public-a nd-broadcasting-july-2008

    "In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the 'public interest, convenience and necessity.' This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------
    http://mashable.com/2013/04/08/fox-tv-threat/
    http://benton.org/public_interest_obligatio ns_of_dtv_broadcasters_guide/public_standard
    http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/piac/novmtg/pubint.htm

     

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  104.  
    icon
    Kelledin (profile), Apr 11th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If it helps they've got up to season 7 on Netflix streaming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    icon
    texascableguy (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 2:00am

    Re:

    No more affiliate stations? If CBS and FOX go cable-only, do you really think their non-O&O affiliate stations are just going to turn in their licenses and go off the air? There are plenty of other networks that would jump at the chance to grab a former FOX or CBS channel. Possibilities are endless: Bounce TV, This TV, Ion Television, Retro Television Network, foreign language, religious, home shopping. It's also possible that some current cable channel (CNN for example) would turn itself into a broadcast network. Never underestimate Ted Turner.

    Furthermore, if CBS and FOX go cable only, they lose all the cushy perks their affiliates got under the 1992 Cable Act. No more mandatory carriage, no more retransmission-consent, no more government-mandated geographic monopolies, no more mandatory access to the basic tier. From the cable TV operator's point of view, they'll become just two more advertising-supported video feeds competing for channel space in an already-crowded market.

    But their former affiliates will still have these perks!

    And do CBS and FOX really think the cable TV industry is going to welcome them with open arms? It would be a perfect opportunity for cable operators to play hardball after years of abuse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    identicon
    Michael Charlton, Oct 1st, 2013 @ 7:00am

    Plain and simple, The networks have managed to coerce the cable/satellite companies outrageous fees to re-transmit content available over free airwaves. Now when someone comes around and offers a reliable way to use the public airwaves for it's intended purpose, i.e. watch broadcast TV with commercials, the networks have a panic attack.

    First, if Fox goes off the air, few people notice because the 21st century is about content, not networks. Cable cutters will just find their shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube and stream them on their TVs in HD.

    Second, if the networks decide to follow through, they would be sued by every local TV station in the country. Congress won't come to their aid because Congress can't agree on anything.

    What the Aereo lawsuit does is empower the cable companies to renegotiate the outrageous and potentially illegal fees that keep inflating cable bills and cause blackouts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    Steven Kopp, Dec 8th, 2013 @ 11:49pm

    DVD recording

    Over the last few weeks I've able unable to record Cozi TV over the airwave (Chicago 5.2)using a DVD recorder. My recorder gives the error message "copy prohibited program" - not able to record +VR mode. Never had a problem before this.

    A few years ago, when I recorded the last show of "House" on Fox32, I had sound but no picture.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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