Video services

Diller's Aereo Under Legal Attack

Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • All of the big U.S. broadcasters are suing Aereo Inc. , a Barry Diller-backed startup that's using broadband to provide access to over-the-air TV stations alongside a network DVR service for $12 per month. The lawsuits seek an injunction and claim Aereo violates copyrights and retransmission rules. Some analysts believe a successful injunction could be a death sentence for the new service. (See Can Aereo Survive a Broadcaster Assault? and Aereo Makes Cord-Cutting Bid in NYC.)

  • Aereo, set to launch on March 14 in New York City, blogged its response, rejecting the claims of the broadcasters (as you would expect). Before the legal papers started flying, Aereo threw a bash in Brooklyn last week and posted some pics from the event. Blue backdrops are apparently in this year.

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s bid to launch a subscription video service this year is bogged down in negotiations with media giants, reports the New York Post. Apple wants "everything for nothing," a media exec told the paper. Cable operators, meanwhile, have balked at Apple's plan to take over their video interface. (See Apple Prepping Pay-TV Push.)

  • Fourteen cable operators have banded together to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lift a rule that would let them encrypt basic video tiers in all-digital cable systems, noting that the "overwhelming majority" of digital cable subs already use set-tops or retail CableCARD devices to access encrypted services. Boxee wants the rule to remain so its users can receive basic channels using a QAM tuner. (See Boxee, Cable Spar Over Video Encryption .)

  • Former SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) CEO Bill Styslinger has resurfaced as a board member of cable modem termination system (CMTS) and edge QAM outfit Casa Systems Inc. Styslinger's been a Casa investor since 2005, and SeaChange backed the vendor before selling its stake in 2010 for $34.1 million. (See SeaChange Off the Block, CEO Exits .)

  • Spanish service provider ONO has expanded its deployment of IP-connected TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) boxes to Valencia, following initial launches in Madrid and Barcelona.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:40:47 PM
    re: Diller's Aereo Under Legal Attack

    That's a good point. Apart from the boldness (or audacity?) of Diller's move to create a new Internet TV service, those dime-sized antennas are really cool. I see what you're saying about getting broadcasters together behind them, but could those antennas also be used to help spread a subscription TV signal?      

    It could be the return of wireless cable!


    joanengebretson 12/5/2012 | 5:40:47 PM
    re: Diller's Aereo Under Legal Attack

    Even if Aereo loses the lawsuit, the company has developed antenna technology that should be useful to somebody. I could see the broadcasters themselves using it as a way to improve reception & gain viewers.The challenge would be for them to all work together on this. But that's something they're already trying to do with the Dyle TV offering.

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