Up Is Down, Day Is Night, And Aereo's Shut Down Is 'Pro-Consumer' According To CBS CEO
from the and-by-pro-consumer-you-mean-pro-screwing-the-consumer dept
Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, was one of the more vocal network execs leading the charge against Aereo. He was the one insisting that CBS would move its content off of the public airwaves if Aereo won — to which many people said that sounded like a good idea, so that others could use that valuable spectrum. Of course, when talking to his investors, Moonves also admitted that an Aereo win would have no real impact on the company, revealing the truth of the matter.
Either way, it’s no surprise that he’d be delighted by the victory over Aereo. What gets ridiculous is when he claims that it’s a “pro-consumer thing.” How, exactly, is that the case? If you look at the comments from just about any Aereo user following Aereo’s decision to “pause” the service this weekend in the wake of the ruling, it certainly doesn’t look particularly “pro-consumer.” Aereo user and GigaOm writer Jeff Roberts has what might be the best explanation of how horrible this is for consumers:
But while CBS and ABC investors may be throwing around high fives at the sop from the Supremes, the average consumer just took a bath. Not only did the court just stick it to them by protecting the TV industry?s bundle rip-offs, consumers also lose access to a marvelous technology.
Aereo, you see, was different. It gave urban dwellers like me a cheap way to see over-the-air shows (which the broadcasters send out for free in the first place, don?t forget) on their computers and phones.
The service, to be sure, was from perfect. The show streams could be choppy, and in the case of sports, the short time delay could be frustrating ? I would sometimes learn about a goal on social media right before seeing it on Aereo. And it lacked the lazy, channel-clicking pleasure of TV.
But Aereo did point out what could be: a commonsense way to watch TV over the internet at a reasonable price. Now, we?re stuck instead with the TV industry?s over-priced bundles and, in the case of mobile, a confusing and convoluted ?TV everywhere? system that seeks to replicate an out-of-date form of linear TV watching that no one wants in the first place.
You can claim that the networks’ win in the Supreme Court was “good” for the broadcast industry (though I’d challenge that assertion too), but to claim in any way that it was “pro-consumer” is just clearly out and out ridiculousness by Moonves.