Broadcasters Warn Supremes Of The Innumerable Non-Existent Horrors That Will Befall Everyone If Aereo Wins

from the your-threat-is-not-even-remotely-scary dept

As we've noted for some time, broadcasters have long argued that if they're not given what they want they're sure to go out of business, even if the evidence never actually supports that. Their latest incarnation of that has been in heavy rotation during their battle against live TV streaming service Aereo, with broadcasters arguing that if Aereo is allowed to survive, they'll pull all of their broadcast channels from over the air and move them to paid cable tiers. As we've stated previously they should go right ahead and do that, as the publicly-owned airwaves they're currently using can certainly be put to good use. Also, enjoy the wrath of sports fans (and the oodles of politicians who'll side with sports fans to earn political brownie points) when you attempt to do that.

Gearing up for their Supreme Court showdown with Aereo on April 22, broadcasters have once again gleefully pulled out this empty threat. Hoping to convince the court's eight Judges (Justice Alito recused himself, possibly due to stock holdings) an Aereo win would be disastrous, the petitioners proclaim that free "quality" programming will cease to exist:
"The TV broadcasters reject Aereo's conclusion that cloud computing and other novel technologies could be at stake, but they do raise dire warnings about what might happen should the Supreme Court rule in Aereo's favor. As the brief states, "Indeed, if that is the world in which broadcasters must live, then they may be forced to reconsider whether they can afford to continue making the same quantity and quality of programming available to the public for free in the first place."
The debate over the word "quality" aside, note the pretense again that they they would struggle with finances, ignoring the fact that CBS posted record earnings last year and even CBS's CEO recently admitting that an Aereo win would have no serious impact on earnings. Perhaps scarier is this dire warning included in the brief by the petitioners:
"If the transmit clause could be circumvented through the simple expedient of simultaneously supplying each user with a distinct transmission generated from a distinct copy, then cable and satellite companies could potentially devise Aereo-like workarounds of their own, and in the process render the transmit clause a dead letter."
Wow, that would be rough, huh? Cable and satellite operators giving subscribers more flexible options for content that might in the process make a customer or two happy? Could even Lovecraft or Dante forge a more horrifying hellscape? Is there any point in living?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Violynne (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Given the track record of SCOTUS, Aereo best be ready to lose.

    9 justices who think "technology" is ensuring the briefs they're reading are non-standard and non-electronic in their delivery, or else it's blasphemous and must be ruled against.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    The broadcasters can point to another disastrous SCOTUS ruling as a demonstration about dangers of a favorable ruling. They can point to the devastating impact the Betamax ruling had on the entertainment industry.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:09am

    " then cable and satellite companies could potentially devise Aereo-like workarounds of their own"


    I must be confused. Isn't Aereo a company that requires people to have a satellite subscription already? Aren't they simply putting the antenna on their roof instead of their customer's roof and sending the signal to the customer via internet?

    How does this allow cable (especially) and sattelite companies to make a work around? All it does is change the location of the antenna and the cable that gets the data to the house right?

    I don't get how this changes everything or can be exploited. Am I missing something or are the broadcasters missing something?

     

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  4.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    The broadcasters are right to some degree. If Aereo win, we're going to see more and more of these type of services popping up and you'll see the end of free TV broadcasting. This country will become a nation where you have to pay for a cable subscription or get satellite.

    While it won't be the end of broadcast television, it will simply evolve and create more cable companies in this country.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:11am

    "Indeed, if that is the world in which broadcasters must live, then they may be forced to reconsider whether they can afford to continue making the same quantity and quality of programming available to the public for free in the first place."

    So someone increasing the audience for their free programs makes them less valuable to advertisers; hmmm.. seems like Hollywood style logic is illogical.

     

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  6.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    It has nothing to do with broadcasters losing money.

    The broadcasters simply want Aereo to pay for the privilege since Aereo is making money off their signal. After all, cable pays for the privilege too (thanks to past lengthy court battles).

    They hope to add another revenue source of people watching broadcast signals over the internet - either that or they want Aereo to go away because they don't control it.

     

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  7.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    You can't have paid TV broadcasting, and there will always be someone willing to broadcast video signals over the air, so it's not the end of anything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:29am

    One can only hope the broadcasters would take their offerings to PPV. What trash that passes for public broadcasts today for free will help pollute the PPV even more than it is today.

    Maybe the bands they leave free can be resold by the government to someone that actually knows what the word quality means.

    In the meantime, cord cutting could become the new national past time.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    Aereo concerns itself with over-the-air broadcasting only. They receive such broadcasts, and via sleight of hand in trying to exploit what it perceives as a loophole sends those signals along to users of their subscription services. It should prove an interesting case before the SCOTUS, but its outcome is by no means predictable given that there is a significant split among those who engage in the practice of copyright law, with the nod at this time going to those who align themselves with the broadcasters.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Why don't they just stream their own content?

    Just curious, the the networks had their own stream, wouldn't that make Aereo obsolete? Wouldn't that actually be to their benefit since they could more accurately track what people are watching?

    Also, if the FCC can require them to broadcast an HD signal, couldn't they also require them to broadcast a digital stream, as part of the arrangement for using that spectrum?

     

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    Glen, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:47am

    This blows my mind. Their revenue is based on commericals. Who gives a rat's ass if it is over the computer of over the TV screen?

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:48am

    The thing is that I actually feel bad for the broadcasters. What people keep forgetting is that Aereo is taking free signals for TV broadcasting that they get for free and then turn around and charge customers of their service a feww for receiving those signals.

    Aereo should really be compensating the broadcasters for using those signals. It's like if someone uses your property for a garage sale and then doesn;t compensate you for the use of your property.

    I don't have any sympathy for Aereo because they are nothing but vultures who are charging people for content that should be free, since Aereo pays nothing for it.

    If Aereo wasn't charging a fee, then I'd have sympathy for them, but they're nothing more than scavengers and looters.

     

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    deadzone, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:50am

    Re: Why don't they just stream their own content?

    The networks don't innovate they just litigate.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    "Isn't Aereo a company that requires people to have a satellite subscription already? "

    No, it provides over-the-air TV over the internet, by effectively renting you an aerial at their location.

    I love Aereo.

    I am in a location where I am close to broadcast towers but cannot get a good signal at my house due to tall buildings and trees. For me, Aereo just means I have effectively put my aerial in their facility and then I use the internet to get the signal from that aerial to my tv - just as I would (if I could) put the aerial on my roof and send the signal over my own ethernet network to distribute over-the-air tv to multiple locations in my house.

     

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    Ed Allen, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    Aero provides a ghost free, continuous stream for people in apartments behind buildings
    or too low for line of site to the transmitter.

    That is a service that customers will actually pay a small fee for and the broadcasters are
    pissed that they don't get a percentage.

    Of course they could build networks of towers like cellular companies do or provide streams
    to customers direct from the studios instead of bothering to transmit but those would require
    investments and ongoing billing, real work, so they would rather Aero pay extortion
    like the cable outfits do.

    Besides if Aero is not legally squashed as being a "broadcast" to a single listener
    then overnight every digital cable system can cease sending checks without
    ANY CHANGE change whatever!

    Then the networks viewer count goes down and advertizing rates drop,
    bonus checks would be cancelled! Oh the HORROR!

     

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  16.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    But if they aren't providing a worthwhile service, why would anyone subscribe?

    You don't need Aereo -- you can buy an HD antenna and a digital capture card, so let's conservatively say a couple hundred bucks for decent equipment, and then you have your own rig to watch for free.

    Presumably, the people subscribing to Aereo find a small monthly fee for instant access with no setup to be a more appealing option, or they are for some other reason precluded from building their own rig.

    Where's the problem?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    They are charging you to rent aerial capability from them. They pay for their aerials and charge you to use them. I have no objection to paying 8/mo to use their aerial which CAN receive broadcast TV whereas I in my own house cannot receive the signal even with my own aerial.

     

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  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    They can point to the devastating impact the Betamax ruling had on the entertainment industry.

    I don't think devastating means what you think it means... Beware of the Boston strangler. Whatever it means now ;)

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    Really bad analogies...

    > It's like if someone uses your property for a garage sale and then doesn;t compensate you for the use of your property.

    No. It's like if someone used something I DISCARDED for a garage sale. Once I let it out into the world, it was no longer really my property. By letting go of it I implicitly granted permission for anyone to come along and do anything they want with it.

    Once I sell or discard something, I don't get to retain any rights over it.

    Of course any attempt to equate this situation to any sort of physical property is pretty *ssinine. You can't "broadcast" that crap in your garage that you haven't paid any attention to for 5 years.

    The only reason any of this is even an issue is that broadcasters were able to illegitimately take advantage of payments they really weren't due. Now they have gotten used to this corruption and think it's their right when they never should have had it in the first place. It's all the result of wrongheaded "but think of the poor corporations" type of thinking in law or jurisprudence.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re:

    "Where's the problem?"

    I have an HD aerial and am close to broadcast towers but CAN NOT receive a consistent signal because of BIG trees (not mine) and BIG buildings (not mine). Aereo is the only way I can get over-the-air TV and I am close to a major metroplex and easily within theoretical signal range.

     

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  21.  
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    scotts13 (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    Wrong on all counts. Sorry.

    Taking property from a physical sale deprives the owner of the use of it. This does not. (Where have we heard this before?)

    They're not selling the broadcasting; they're renting the physical means to access it. A solar power company doesn't charge you for sunshine, you pay them to bring it into your house.

     

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  22.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    right... I didn't mean your problem, I was asking where's the problem with Aereo offering people in your situation a service :)

     

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  23.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    "you'll see the end of free TV broadcasting."

    because of the digital switchover, this is already the case in at least some areas, as the digital signals don't reach everywhere the analog ones did.

    "This country will become a nation where you have to pay for a cable subscription or get satellite."

    Or, better, just stop watching TV.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:05am

    Response to: kenichi tanaka on Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:48am

    That is a wrongheaded way to think of it. The broadcast signal is not being used up or devalued, nothing like a neighbor stealing from your garage sale and profiting on old junk.

    Aereo charges for a service. They shift a freely broadcast signal from point A, an antenna, to point B, your internetdevice.

    Trying to conflate that with theft simply because a small handfull of companies are doing their best to slice up the entire spectum (that you and I own) between themselves and hate the idea of innovation is nonsense.

     

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  25.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    "I actually feel bad for the broadcasters"

    Why? They're getting additional eyeballs to see the ads they run.

    "What people keep forgetting is that Aereo is taking free signals for TV broadcasting that they get for free and then turn around and charge customers of their service"

    I don't think anyone's forgetting that. It's just not terribly relevant.

    "Aereo should really be compensating the broadcasters for using those signals"

    Why?

    "It's like if someone uses your property for a garage sale and then doesn;t compensate you for the use of your property."

    No, it's really not. In your analogy, the property owner is being deprived of something (the use of the portion of their property being used for the garage sale). In the Aereo case, broadcasters aren't being deprived of anything at all.

    "If Aereo wasn't charging a fee, then I'd have sympathy for them"

    Interesting perspective, where charging to provide a desired service (that costs money to provide) is considered "scavenging and looting".

     

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  26.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    Indeed.

    Still, Aereo is lacking here too. They could be making agreements with the Broadcasters to tailor the advertisements to the region where they are being streamed to in exchange of using a set up that is, you know, SANE instead of having a single antenna per user. Sounds like a win-win situation where such content would reach much more people.

     

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  27.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah but as we've seen, there's only one "win" the old guard is interested in, and they're upset if the other side doesn't lose...

    Look at YouTube: the ability to monetize with ads through ContentID is a really great win-win system that YouTube created itself and gave to the film/tv/music industries... but the response they get is that it doesn't mean anything until they can ensure that all unauthorized content will be filtered from YouTube forever.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:20am

    TV and antenna manufacturers too

    The broadcasters have long wanted to turn "free TV" into "pay TV" and for anyone who makes use of their signals in any way to pay a fee to them. This includes television and and antenna manufacturers. So far, they have been unable to get such fees supported by law. It is their hope that the Aereo case will be a big step in that direction.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    If Aereo wasn't charging a fee, then I'd have sympathy for them, but they're nothing more than scavengers and looters.
    Wow. You must view people who do you a service very poorly then. They are providing a way to receive a free signal that you couldn't get before. They aren't charging your for the broadcast stream. They are charging you for providing you a signal to the broadcast. They are just a vehicle to help you get a free service. If I was interested in TV and I could put my own antenna up and get a signal, I wouldn't pay for Aereo. If for some reason my antenna couldn't get the signal due to my location or surroundings, then the only other option is to pay for Aereo. What I am confused with is Comcast has that same option when you pay for their cable service. They will add a monthly fee if you want to include free local channels. Done a little differently but seems to be the same concept. Why aren't they being attacked just like Aereo.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    What I'm saying is the braodcasters are already receiving payment via the cable/satellite companies already. Should they be able to double dip?

    I can see the argument for it I guess, but why should they be able to double dip? If Aereo has to pay, then the cable/satellite companies should be paying less so that the combined total the broadcasters get is the same.

     

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  31.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re:

    Or, better, just stop watching TV.

    But, but, reality TV man! American Idol, 'Ghost' hunters, FOX for crying out-

    Yeah, I can't even finish that, 90% of the crap on tv these days is just that, you're not really missing anything if you simply stop watching it and move on to other sources of entertainment.

     

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  32.  
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    Jerrymiah, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    As the brief states, "Indeed, if that is the world in which broadcasters must live, then they may be forced to reconsider whether they can afford to continue making the same quantity and quality of programming available to the public for free in the first

    I find it quite a bit disingenous from the broadcasters (ABC, NBC & CBS)particularly to make such a statement. Over the years,I watch a fair amount of their programming and can emphatically states that over the last 2 or 3 years, their programming has gone from kinda good to horrible. Those 3 networks now only have a few shows that are interesting. The remainder of their programming is horrendous, i.e. reality TV. Who needs all that kind of entertainment.

     

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  33.  
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    Rekrul, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:59am

    "Indeed, if that is the world in which broadcasters must live, then they may be forced to reconsider whether they can afford to continue making the same quantity and quality of programming available to the public for free in the first place."

    If the programming is "free", how can they be upset that Aereo isn't paying them for it?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    You are not making any sense. No one is forgetting that Aereo is "taking" (wrong, by the way) free signals. In fact, that's kind of the whole point of the argument and why all your whining is silly.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re:

    Actually it does potentially have something to do with broadcasters losing money. Cable and satellite providers pay HUGE retransmission fees to the broadcast networks to be able to carry those channels over there networks to their subscribers. If this is allowed to stand then theoretically, the cable companies could set up a similar system to avoid having to pay those fees. It wouldn't be terribly hard either. All they would need to do is have their new cable boxes redesigned with a built in antenna to carry the local channels directly through to the TV instead of getting the signal from their network. I doubt many would do it as it would also upset their ability to offer on demand content from the major networks, however the threat could still be used as a major bargaining chip to dramatically reduce those retransmission fees in a renegotiation of them.

     

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  36.  
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    PRMan, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    And this current "devastating" law that created the cable industry to begin with.

     

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  37.  
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    PRMan, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:25am

    Re:

    They are doing what cable companies originally did. Setting up an antenna in a good location and then running your signal over cables to get it to your house.

    They are even using the same exact law that allowed the original cable companies to do this to begin with, so it's very ironic that the cable companies are fighting them.

     

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  38.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    because of the digital switchover, this is already the case in at least some areas, as the digital signals don't reach everywhere the analog ones did.

    Indeed. More like the Bait and Switchover.

     

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  39.  
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    PRMan, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:27am

    Re: Why don't they just stream their own content?

    You are 100% correct. If the networks just broadcast (and counted views to give to their advertisers) over the internet, Aereo would go bankrupt overnight.

     

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  40.  
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    Irving, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:28am

    It may be disturbing to your "justice" fantasy, but the fact remains that judges can be bought just like any other politician.

     

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  41.  
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    PRMan, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    Because their revenue is now subsidized by charging cable companies large amounts of money to "carry" their channel and Aereo is used by cord-cutters.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    Aereo doesn't require a satellite subscription. They receive the broadcast signals that are sent over the airwaves for local TV stations. They have nothing to do with cable subscriptions. You are thinking of the Internet streaming options from cable networks like HBO, Showtime, Disney, ESPN, and others that require a cable subscription to also be able to stream to computers and mobile devices over the Internet. NBC also has a few too but they don't carry the local broadcast from the local affiliate.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:40am

    Will go out of business huh?

    Like they did before cable and the Internet existed at all when all of their revenue came from advertisers and there were no retransmission fees being paid at all?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re:

    "They're getting additional eyeballs to see the ads they run."

    And if they had been smart about this, instead of spending a shit ton of money fighting a very public battle that is giving Aereo a ton of publicity, they could have most likely been nice and gone to Aereo from the outset and requested that Aereo provide them with viewing statistics that they could have used to justify higher ad rates to the companies that pay them for advertising with more accurate data than they currently get from a bullshit system like Nielsen ratings and my guess is that had they done that Aereo would more likely than not have been happy to comply with an arrangement like that.

     

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  45.  
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    cpt kangarooski, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    That's a poor analogy. Try this one instead:

    Suppose I own a skyscraper which is located adjacent to a baseball field. If I rent access to the balconies of the skyscraper which overlook the field, so that people can watch the game without having to buy a ticket from the team, I don't see why I should owe money to the baseball team, or why I should either grant people access for free or not do so at all.

    If the baseball team doesn't like it, they're free to build a dome or a big wall or something to obstruct the view.

    Free riding is not inherently bad.

     

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  46.  
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    DogBreath, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:58am

    Re: TV and antenna manufacturers too

    The broadcasters have long wanted to turn "free TV" into "pay TV" and for anyone who makes use of their signals in any way to pay a fee to them.


    Perhaps they should just move to Germany. That way they can force everyone to pay them. Even those who don't use their services.


    Television licence -Germany

    "As of 1 January 2013, the licence fee in Germany is now a blanket contribution of 17.98 per month ( 215.76 per annum) for all households and is payable regardless of equipment or television/radio usage.[28] Businesses and institutions must also contribute (the amount is based on several factors including number of employees, vehicles and, for hotels, number of beds).[29] The fee is billed by the month, but typically paid quarterly (yearly advanced payments are possible)."


    and:


    "Germany currently has one of the largest total public broadcast budgets in the world. The per capita budget is close to the European average. Annual income from licence fees is approximately 7.6 billion euros, with an additional 500 million euros in revenue from commercials.

    The board of public broadcasters sued the German states for interference with their budgeting process, and on 11 September 2007 the Supreme Court decided in their favour. This effectively rendered the public broadcasters institution independent and self-governing."


    Man, the broadcasters are really living the sweet life over there...

     

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  47.  
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    zip, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:01pm

    I don't get it. It seems to me that if a broadcaster's signal is being (unlawfully or not) re-transmitted to a much greater audience, then the original broadcaster would benefit financially by being able to charge (and justify) higher advertising rates.

    The end result might be roughly equivalent to a broadcaster building a taller antenna tower and broadcasting with higher wattage to reach more people -- but without any additional cost. Is there any broadcaster that would not want to reach more people?

    But then of course if Aereo were to strip out the original commercial advertising and replacing it with its own, then that would indeed create a very serious problem.

     

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  48.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, I left off the [sarcasm]...[/sarcasm] tags.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    This is Hollywood we are talking about. Common sense and mathematics are not their strong suits. Greed and bluster are.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re:

    >>The broadcasters simply want Aereo to pay for the privilege since Aereo is making money off their signal.

    That is exactly the kind of zero-sum thinking that causes businesses big problems. The mind-set is that if someone else is making money, I must be loosing it. But the entertainment industry is not a zero-sum game. In this case Aereo has expanded the audience for the broadcasters at essential zero marginal cost to the broadcasters. The actual problem for the broadcasters is that they don't have an easy method of measuring the expanded audience so they can charge advertisers. Those measurements would probably be possible to get, but the broadcasters would have to cooperate with Aereo to get it.

    The argument can be made that the broadcasters should be paying Aereo for expanding their market.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    jackn, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Response to: kenichi tanaka on Feb 26th, 2014 @ 9:48am

    Yeah, actually, the value of the broadcast is increased because of aero

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    jackn, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm am sure the ads are already tailored. I think it is a local signal being streamed

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "All they would need to do is have their new cable boxes redesigned with a built in antenna to carry the local channels directly through to the TV"

    They can do this right now without legal difficulty. The Aereo case doesn't enter into doing that -- Aereo is about having the antenna somewhere other than where the receiver is.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Strange. In my area, I got a whole lot more channels after the digital switchover. Not that I ever watch any of them.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Many would consider the cable companies paying to offer freely broadcast signals as double dipping, but the court upheld that it was okay.

    And Aereo isn't being offered through cable service, so it's not double dipping with cable. They want Aereo to pay what cable is paying.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    Re:

    So, let me get this straight:

    Broadcasters provide this stream of water so that anybody on the banks can drink as much as they want for free.

    Along comes Aero and builds pipes to houses not close enough to the bank to drink directly,
    for which they charge each house a small fee.

    Now the suppliers of the stream that has been given away free for years are pissed that Aero
    is getting paid for providing additional houses access to their stream and they threaten
    to stop the stream for everybody ?

    The broadcasters will make so much more money if they just stop producing content !

    Perfectly clear now.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    Aero found a way to get people to pay money for that free content !

    They want that money or Aero's head, and since without income Aero dies, then they would be happy.

    These "we are entitled" content people would rather have less money, smaller audience for advertizers, than
    see another company get a dime for providing what people want.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Kudos.

    Much more concise and acurate than I could manage.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In my area, there is only 2 channels left (out of an original 5) that can be received OTA.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anon, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 3:30pm

    Just one Judge

    I just want one judge to ask networks how they made any money before 1992. They existed 40+ years without retrans fees, and only 20 years with. Now they're claiming they can't exist without them?

     

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

  61.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re:

    trying to exploit what it perceives as a loophole

    No, what you perceive to be a loophole. Aereo perceives it to be *doing what is clearly legal.*

    with the nod at this time going to those who align themselves with the broadcasters.

    What nod? So far the courts have ruled in favor of Aereo and against the broadcasters in every case, but one.

     

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

  62.  
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    Bergman (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re:

    How are they lacking? They designed their product to comply with every nook, cranny and nuance of every statute, case law and regulation governing broadcast television.

    They don't HAVE to make agreements with broadcasters the way their product is designed.

    Broadcasters aren't selling the programming they broadcast, that's the bait to get viewers to watch. The product that broadcasters are selling is the advertisements those viewers see along with the programming. Aereo doesn't interfere with those advertisements in any way, it actually increases the number of viewers who will see those ads and increases broadcaster profits.

    The fact that broadcasters are threatening to cut their own throats if the court sides with Aereo doesn't make Aereo the bad guys, it makes the broadcasters suicidally stupid.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 7:18pm

    Re:

    Only if the broadcasters are such incredible control freaks they actually do commit suicide over this.

    The basic business model of a TV broadcaster is to sell eyeballs to advertisers. They conduct surveys and collect data so they can accurately tell their customers how many eyeballs on average see ads. The programming is just to lure more eyeballs to watch, it's a net loss in and of itself in their core business model.

    The broadcasters added a second money stream when they managed to get laws passed that said cable companies had to pay for programming if they wanted to have broadcast TV channels on their cable service. But nowhere in those laws does it say that someone using an antenna to pull in a broadcast to watch on their own personal TV has to pay for anything.

    What Aereo does is simple. They designed their product to work entirely within the extremely complex tangle of case law, regulations, statutes and contracts that govern broadcast television. They don't need to make a deal with the broadcasters or pay a fee for the programming because the law says that they don't.

    Aereo has actually increased broadcaster profits by making sure more eyeballs see the ads that the broadcaster's customers pay for. But the broadcasters can't stand that someone that isn't a broadcaster might make money, so they're suing.

    The broadcaster threat to stop broadcasting if Aereo wins is very much like a man standing on a street holding a knife to his own throat and making unreasonable demands 'or else'. If he doesn't get his way, he's the one who will suffer the most -- the rest of us will probably be better off without crazies like him.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re:

    So, let me get this striaght:

    Following the law, as set by legal precendentof SCOTUS, is immoral and illegal.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 27th, 2014 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I got the sarcasm, I just replied with more of it >.>

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 27th, 2014 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed but if memory serves one of the arguments they were pushing was that they can't tailor the ads and so on and we haven't seen any type of offering from Aereo in this front. While the broadcasters may not accept it would add another good argument in court (at least I think it would).

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    Because cable companies pay a percentage to the Broadcasters.

    They Broadcasters are panicked that unles Aero is labeled
    a "rebroadcaster" by a judge the Cable companies will get
    their own legal teams to figure a way for them to not be
    "rebroadcasters" so they can stop paying "protection" money
    (which is what "rebroadcast fees" really are).

    The Broadcasters see that unless providing a signal to a
    single household is a "rebroadcast" then Cable companies
    can argue that settop boxes are a variation of the Aero
    setup and that they, the Cable companies, are due multiyear refunds.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Pete Barth, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 11:37am

    Aereo

    In a few places in the U.S. (the Yosemite valley) relay transmitters have been installed so people not able to "see" TV transmitters can receive all channels.
    This has been in place in England for decades.
    I live in a canyon in Hollywood, but have available two cable carriers. I can't afford them (retired).
    Ironically, I worked in TV and Film for decades!
    I will be one of the first to use Aereo.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 28th, 2014 @ 5:07pm

    Re:

    They don't read anything in briefs past "Fruit of the Loom."

     

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


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