Broadcasters Get an Earful From Barry Diller, Who Receives Industry Honor Even Though 'Many People in This Room Are Suing Me' Deadline
Veteran media executive and IAC chief Barry Diller took the spotlight today at a New York ceremony for the Library of American Broadcasting’s “Giants of Broadcasting” awards and cut to the chase, commenting on his association with Aereo, the subject of a lawsuit filed by a number of broadcasters, Deadline.com reports.
Most of the people in the audience see the streaming service as a threat to broadcasters, and many consider it illegal, the report notes.
Diller, one of 11 people honored at the event, told the attendees: “It’s especially nice that I get this honor when many people in this room are suing me." He then joked, "After you’re accused of stealing a few times, you get a little sensitive.”
"The former ABC exec, and creator of Fox Broadcasting, gently chided broadcasters as they demand rising fees from cable and satellite companies that retransmit their signals -- and threaten to pull their best shows from the airwaves if courts support Aereo, which streams their programming without their permission," the report notes.
The piece adds: “'I always believed broadcasters should have a second revenue stream' in addition to advertising, Diller said. But they need to be sensitive to the fact that 'there are people who can’t afford cable or satellite.' He added that he’s glad he became a broadcaster years ago when it was clear that the industry should support the public interest -- 'values that were separate from competition, separate from business.' Still, he says, local broadcasting will endure and TV stations are 'one of the great buys.'”
Among the other honorees, the piece notes, were David E. Kelley, Dick Cavett, BET founder Robert Johnson and Disney/ABC's Anne Sweeney.