Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and DirecTV are examining a move that would take a page from Aereo by creating their own broadcast-TV streaming service as a way to avoid paying billions in retransmission fees, reports Bloomberg.
Retransmission fees are vital for the broadcast television industry, and are slated to double to $6.1 billion by 2018 from about $3 billion this year, Bloomberg notes. Currently Aereo is battling lawsuits from CBS and other broadcasters over its service, which costs $8 a month for online access to broadcast TV.
"If Aereo prevails, cable companies could use the same approach to bypass the fees they now pay for network signals," the story reports, citing sources who did not want to be identified because talks are in the early stages. "Time Warner Cable has even considered buying Aereo, said one of the people."
Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Maureen Huff said Aereo’s concept is "very interesting" if it’s found to be legal, "especially as it relates to retransmission consent fees."
Charter and Aereo declined to comment, while DirecTV didn’t return requests for comment, the story says.