Aereo Standoff Could Force Fox Behind Paywall

News Corp's chief operating officer has claimed his company's Fox Network could paywall its TV service if startup Aereo continues to rebroadcast TV shows on the cheap in New York City. Broadcasters are suing Aereo for bypassing retransmission fees with technology that delivers converted over-the-air programming to anyone who rents an Aereo HDTV antenna for $8 a month. Aereo only operates in New York City at present and gives users access to NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and The CW, as well as other local channels. News Corp. COO Chase Carey reportedly made the threat Monday night at the NAB Show. "This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can't sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal," Carey is quoted as saying. "If we can't do a fair deal, we could take the whole network to a subscription model." Broadcasters are hopping mad about Aereo because last week New York's U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a July ruling that the company does not infringe on broadcasters' copyright claims as it isn't broadcasting "public performances," and is, therefore, permissible. (See Aereo: Suited Up to Disrupt Pay TV.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

craigleddy 4/10/2013 | 12:06:39 PM
re: Aereo Standoff Could Force Fox Behind Paywall Yes, Fox doesn't want to lose retransmission consent fees. So there is some method to Carey's madness. They might be greasing the skids to make the argument that OTT providers should be subject to the same regulations as traditional MVPDs. The retrans rules are due for an overhaul in DC.
mendyk 4/9/2013 | 9:06:00 PM
re: Aereo Standoff Could Force Fox Behind Paywall Isn't this about protecting carriage fees? I don't read that as a "pay" model. It would be an effective -- albeit extreme -- way to keep Aereo or other companies like it from making money off their content without paying for it, which amounts to piracy of a sort.
craigleddy 4/9/2013 | 9:00:27 PM
re: Aereo Standoff Could Force Fox Behind Paywall Utterly ridiculous, and surprising coming from a sharp guy like Carey. It would be sheer suicide for Fox to go to a pay model. Fox runs on free airwaves and makes bazillions in advertising -- and they're going to walk away from that because of an unproven startup? And if they think that going to a pay model will stop the Barbarians at the Gate, they should note what the most pirated TV show is right now: HBO's Game of Thrones. -á
DanJones 4/9/2013 | 7:10:26 PM
re: Aereo Standoff Could Force Fox Behind Paywall Didn't all TV broadcasts use antennas for years anyway?
macemoneta 4/9/2013 | 6:04:54 PM
re: Aereo Standoff Could Force Fox Behind Paywall This would be great! All that valuable spectrum would be returned to the public, making it usable for long range high-speed Internet connectivity. Is there some way we can encourage Fox to do this no matter what the ruling on the Aereo case?
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