Broadcasters Tell Court About Nightmare Scenario They Say Would Totally Disrupt the TV Business

May 11, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Broadcasters have told a New York federal court that they are effectively facing a nightmare scenario that will totally disrupt the TV business as we know it today.

If the Barry Diller-backed Aereo service that streams TV programming from TV stations without their permission is not ruled illegal, the economic model that TV is currenly based upon will be changed, broadcasters have told a federal court in New York, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. blog.

According to the story, "broadcasters warn that the TV industry will be totally changed — making it less likely that broadcasters would ever pay billions of dollars for the rights to live NFL games, that retransmission negotiations between stations and cable/satellite companies could get even more contentious and that Aereo’s service would threaten advertising money and piracy protection and the growth of Internet-based video on demand market. In short, they say television would never look the same."

In a lawsuit filed in a federal court in New York, braodcasters are seeking a preliminary injunction against Aereo, the story says. "To succeed in attaining a preliminary injunction against Aereo, the plaintiffs have to show, among other things, a likelihood of success and the prospect of irreparable injury," the article notes.

The story also quotes a declaration filed by Matt Bond, executive VP of content distribution at NBCUniversal. Bond’s prior job was  executive vice president of content acquisition at Comcast Cable Communications. 

According to the article, Bond says in his declaration to the court, "It makes little economic sense for cable systems and satellite broadcasters to continue to pay for NBCU content on a per-subscriber basis when, with a relatively modest investment, they can simply modify their operations to mirror Aereo’s ‘individual antenna’ scheme and retransmit, for free, over-the-air local broadcast programming. I know for a fact that cable companies have already considered such a model."

One Comment

  1. “…making it less likely that broadcasters would ever pay billions of dollars for the rights to live NFL games…”
    I haven’t paid much attention to Aereo, but if pulling the plug on NFL’s billions is one of the results, I’m all for it.

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