CBS Admits Aereo Supreme Court Win Wouldn't Hurt CBS, Might Make Things Better For Everybody
from the we-really-feel-for-you dept
Last year CBS joined a number of broadcasters in whining incessantly about how if Aereo was allowed to continue living, the “struggling” networks would be forced to pull their content from over the air broadcasts and move to cable. It’s part of a long, long history of broadcasters pretending that if things don’t go just they way they want them to, they’ll surely go out of business. The threat to pull broadcasts was aimed at scaring Congress into passing protectionist legislation, and as we noted at the time it’s something CBS should just shut up and do — given the public could probably come up for better uses for their spectrum.
After insisting for some time that big bully Aereo will drive poor little CBS out of business (the same CBS that posted record earnings last year and 20% higher profits in the fourth quarter), it’s rather amusing to see CBS CEO Les Moonves insist in an interview with CNBC that CBS won’t feel any financial impact from a Supreme Court win. In fact, Moonves notes the win will likely result in a slew of new innovative products as cable companies — and in response the networks themselves — rush to follow Aereo’s lead:
“Look, we expect that the Supreme Court will do the right thing and side with the people who are providing the content. Not the people who are taking our content and using it illegally, which is our point of view. However, if that should happen, if the worst should happen, there are so many other alternatives that will not; so this will not affect our bottom line. Obviously the networks collectively could do their own version of Aereo, there’s a way to put our signal on cable without putting it over the air. There’s also over-the-top for us. So, there are many, many alternatives to allow people to receive our signal no matter what happens. It’s something that the Supreme Court will decide, but it’s not anything that we’re deeply concerned about because we have alternatives.”
In other words, an Aereo Supreme court win not only wouldn’t dent CBS in the slightest (something we already knew), it would result in a variety of new ways for people to receive content. In fact, it seems like an Aereo win would probably be good for pretty much everybody but Aereo. Should Aereo win, they would suddenly face all of the satellite, cable and pay TV companies offering similar or better services over the Internet to help slightly reduce retransmission fees. That would in turn result in broadcasters coming up with more innovative Internet TV services of their own to balance any retransmission fee losses.
More products, more options for consumers, more innovative services, more money for everyone and less time in court; it sounds like a real nightmare scenario for CBS and everybody involved.