Light Reading

Aereo: Cable Partner?

Jeff Baumgartner
The Bauminator
Jeff Baumgartner
2/27/2013
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- NCTC Winter Educational Conference (WEC) -- Aereo Inc. has been called a lot of things during its brief life: market disruptor, cord-cutting tool and -- if you happen to be a TV broadcaster -- copyright infringer. (See Diller's Aereo Under Legal Attack and Aereo Makes Cord-Cutting Bid in NYC.) Here's another possible label: cable partner. Say what? That one was posed by Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia here Monday on a panel about the "Future of TV," as he noted that "we'll take a very open approach with everyone we choose to work with." So, how would Aereo work with cable, considering that some view Aereo as a potential threat to the pay-TV model and a destroyer of the traditional video bundle? Among the possible options, Kanojia postulated that some operators might be interested in bundling in Aereo so they can make a "more compelling" broadband product. Nothing along those lines appears to be ready to pop at the moment, but Kanojia said he'd be "ecstatic" to work with a like-thinking cable ISP. The idea might make sense for the group of operators that were in attendance her -- primarily Tier 2/3 independent operators that are getting increasingly disenchanted with delivering a video service that is exposed to a one-two punch of rising programming fees and shrinking margins. And some smaller ISPs have even noodled how they could work with Aereo, if given the opportunity. Toledo Telephone Co. Inc. COO Dale Merten, for example, brought up just such an idea last year at a Light Reading video event in Boston. (See Aereo's ISP Opportunity.) The problem (or one of them, anyway) is that Aereo's service is presently limited to the New York City metro, and its expansion plans call for it to target larger cities, not necessarily the towns and rural markets that are served by typical cable operator that was represented here this week. (See Aereo Sets 22-City Expansion.) Kanjoia also expressed what doesn't interest him: helping cable operators gain leverage in their retransmission negotiations with broadcasters. "I spend 50 microseconds thinking about that stuff," he said. "My goal is to create a platform." But others in the cable industry think Aereo can lend a helping hand, whether it actively intends to or not. "We'll see how the litigation turns out," Matthew Polka, the CEO of the American Cable Association (ACA), said during a panel on Tuesday morning, noting that he does not see Aereo as much of a threat to cable operators. "I'm interested in seeing the development of technology like Aereo's and others that provide alternative means of carriage of broadcast signals." And if Aereo wins its case ("I like my chances, but I can't predict my future," Kenojia said), cable operators might want to think twice about trying to replicate Aereo's technological feat. For one, there's another type of litigation risk to consider. Aereo's got lots of intellectual property tied up in its platform, which includes all those thumb-sized digital antennas. Kenjoia also believes it won't be easy to duplicate Aereo's ability to support "thousands of concurrent transcodes set at multiple bit-rates" so it can ship live and recorded video to a wide range of IP-connected devices. "It's non-trivial technology," the exec boasts. "It's a remarkable feat of engineering to do what we've done." But if the courts look favorably on Aereo's approach, some cable operators might have an opportunity to use it. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/1/2013 | 5:07:44 PM
re: Aereo: Cable Partner?
but still very questionable if MSOs will play a direct part with Aereo.-á I spoke to a cable exec privately about this and was told that contracts with bcasters typically include items in there that would prevent them from bundling in a service like Aereo's,-áno matter how the legal case shapes up.-á Wonder if that was part of what took the wind out of the sails when cable operators and vendors were demonstrating set-tops with built-in OTA digital antennas. JB
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/28/2013 | 2:18:17 PM
re: Aereo: Cable Partner?
Another example of a "disruptive technology" coming to realize that cable's actually pretty important to their future. Or at least they need to sound like they'll play nice. Reminds me of two other disruptive technology providers, Sling and TiVo, both of which eventually courted cable. Sling never got anywhere and TiVo went to hell and back to get cable deals.
jtombes
50%
50%
jtombes,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/28/2013 | 5:21:26 AM
re: Aereo: Cable Partner?
Hard to say which of the metros in that 22-city expansion might be a better fit for a cable broadband/Aereo collaboration than NYC. Birmingham? Madison? Ever since the digital transition I've been bullish on the quality of over-the-air digital (uncompressed HD, after all). But in those tier 2/3 markets, Aereo is up against satellite -- cheap, lots of channels, lots of HD. Keep us posted on what happens next....
More Blogs from The Bauminator
Don't expect anything more to pop for a while, but one analyst sees John Malone & Co. as the 'logical, ultimate acquirer of Ziggo' if the price is right
Cable operators will need to free up at least 24MHz of spectrum for Docsis 3.1. But why is that the magic number?
Liberty Media's rumored plan to snag a 25% stake in Charter for $2.5B could aid the MSO's M&A strategy
Top US cable operators lost 1.41 million video subs in 2012, but the bleeding continues to show signs of slowing in a saturated pay-TV market
Aereo streams its 'no cable required' tagline into the video world. Will consumers tune in to the message?
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.