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Cable/Video

Aereo Mulling Carrier Deals?

Aereo Inc. has a new expansion plan. One month after CEO Chet Kanojia announced he'd consider cozying up to cable, The Wall Street Journal reports the New York startup has already had partnership discussions with major TV and Internet providers including AT&T Inc. and Dish Network Corp. Broadcasters are suing Aereo for bypassing retransmission fees with technology that transcodes over-the-air programming for IP distribution. However, while the court battles carry on, Aereo has remained aggressive about promoting its TV service as a less-expensive alternative to cable. Now it turns out that the company's promise of cheaper TV may not only be attractive to consumers, but a lure for service providers as well. If pay-TV providers do ally themselves with Aereo, it wouldn't be the first time the industry has partnered with a self-proclaimed cord-cutting alternative. Longtime cable enemy TiVo Inc. is now a friend to several MSOs, including Virgin Media Inc., DirecTV Group Inc., Suddenlink Communications and RCN Corp.. Still, the latest news of Aereo's partnership discussions doesn't point to any concrete deals, and the potential legal fallout ahead may keep pay-TV companies away. Savvy Aereo is driving headlines, but whether it can create a sustainable business remains to be seen. (See also: Aereo Widens Net to 19M Homes and Aereo's ISP Opportunity.) — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable
craigleddy 4/2/2013 | 3:55:07 PM
re: Aereo Mulling Carrier Deals? I think the implications of the Aereo decision are huge, if the ruling sticks. It could give rise to similar approaches by OTT device providers who want to re-broadcast TV signals. There's a silver lining for cable operators too, because it reenforces the Cablevision RS-DVR decision and could support alternative means of re-broadcasting TV signals without the dreaded retransmission consent fees.-á

I'm not a lawyer, but I'll bet there are thousands of them poring over every word of this decision. Check it out yourself online.
msilbey 4/1/2013 | 4:54:33 PM
re: Aereo Mulling Carrier Deals? Looks like the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has issued another ruling in favor of Aereo. War's not over, but Aereo's won another battle.

"We conclude that AereoGÇÖs transmissions of unique copies of
broadcast television programs created at its usersGÇÖ requests and transmitted
while the programs are still airing on broadcast television are not GÇÿpublic
performancesGÇÖ of the PlaintiffsGÇÖ copyrighted works under Cablevision. As such,
Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that they are likely to prevail on the merits
on this claim in their copyright infringement action. Nor have they
demonstrated serious questions as to the merits and a balance of hardships that
tips decidedly in their favor. We therefore affirm the order of the district
court denying the PlaintiffsGÇÖ motion.GÇ¥
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