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?

Filed Under: broadcast, retransmission, streaming, supreme court, television
Companies: aereo

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.