Light Reading
It may seem far-fetched, but CEO Chet Kanojia believes cable operators can use Aereo to create a more 'compelling' broadband service bundle

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
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.- 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,-no matter how the legal case shapes up.- 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....
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
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?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed