Aereo Says Networks Are Bluffing About Moving to Cable

May 3, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The CEO of TV-streaming service Aereo told Bloomberg that threats from networks including CBS and Fox to switch to cable are merely a bluff.

Lower advertising revenue and pressure from lawmakers would make it extremely difficult for the networks to move forward on the threat, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said.

“The reality is they want to get paid twice, and Aereo is just an excuse to articulate that business strategy,” Kanojia said. “Good luck to them.”

Kanojia was referring to the networks’ two biggest sources of revenue: advertising and retransmission fees.

A CBS spokesman said the network disagrees with his assertion that the broadcasters would stand to lose billions in ad revenue if they switched to cable.

"More than 85 percent of our viewers already receive their signal” from a pay-TV service, spokesman Chris Ender said. “CBS could serve the remaining 15 percent in a variety of legitimate ways. We don’t believe it’s going to come to that in any event.”

A spokesman for Fox declined to comment.

“I have a hard time believing lawmakers are going to be OK with them taking away all the valuable programming,” Kanojia said. “You’re telling millions of people they’re not going to have access to sports?”

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