After Aereo Defeat, a Bigger Fight Looms for TV Ad Age
While broadcasters celebrated a win this week in the Supreme Court, which got rid of a threat to their business model by ruling that Internet upstart Aereo violated their copyrights, the celebration may be short-lived.
Ad Age reports that industry analysts are now warning that the Aereo case could refocus attention in Washington on an old complaint about television: out-of-control cable fees.
"While regulators and Congress may wish to see a vibrant broadcasting sector, the aggressiveness with which CBS, Fox and others stated their expectations for retransmission consent revenue expansion over the course of the Aereo dispute may yet serve to undermine broadcasters' voice in Washington, especially as cable subscription rates continue to rise," wrote Brian Wieser, an analyst for Pivotal Research.
The Ad Age report notes that while the court ruling may stave off other Aereo-like technology in the short term, "Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion in the six-to-three ruling, said those who are worried that existing copyright law represses new technology 'are of course free to seek action from Congress.'"
And that may be what's likely to happen, as the ruling left the industry with no "framework for a modern definition of what TV is," according to industry consultant Tim Hanlon of The Vertere Group.