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post #181 of 593 Old 07-04-2013, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn - View Post


Their longterm future is to become a bundler of channels on the internet, just like cable companies today. The difference being that they are able to offer services cheaply.

 

As the migration takes place (way down the road such that whatever they are doing now has no ripple effect) they won't be able to do it any cheaper than anyone else. It's like comparing Napster to iTunes conceptually. smile.gif

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post #182 of 593 Old 07-04-2013, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Sorry to hear that. Could undermine their legal position against retrans consent.

I'm confused by this comment. Aereo has licensed the Bloomberg channel for streaming on the internet, there is nothing questionable or unusual.

I only mention it as an example of how Aereo is likely to morph into a "cable company on the internet", and they want to get in there early & become a major player.

There is a provision in the law that excludes OTA-only systems from the definition of a "cable system". If they add non-OTA services, that exclusion no longer applies.
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post #183 of 593 Old 07-05-2013, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

There is a provision in the law that excludes OTA-only systems from the definition of a "cable system". If they add non-OTA services, that exclusion no longer applies.
Aereo carries Bloomberg TV
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post #184 of 593 Old 07-05-2013, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Recording is not important to me.
For some of us, recording is the whole game.  I delete recordings once they're watched and don't archive anything, but as a caregiver subject to being summoned by the patient at any moment, I can never count on watching anything in realtime, because there simply is too little likelihood of being able to watch it through without missing significant portions.   Instead I must record and timeshift everything (and count on being interrupted during playback).
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post #185 of 593 Old 07-05-2013, 11:39 AM
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For some of us, recording is the whole game.  I delete recordings once they're watched and don't archive anything, but as a caregiver subject to being summoned by the patient at any moment, I can never count on watching anything in realtime, because there simply is too little likelihood of being able to watch it through without missing significant portions.   Instead I must record and timeshift everything (and count on being interrupted during playback).

Which is fine. Everyone has different needs and priorities so all points are valid. As I've stated, by only gripe with Aereo is that I don't want it to screw up the free OTA that I get now. And in my area, it is trouble-free with lots of stations to pick from.
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post #186 of 593 Old 07-06-2013, 12:39 PM
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The notion that Aereo is going to knock broadcast TV off the air is a laughable bluff thrown-out by some network execs.

Retransmission revenues will probably come down. But the broadcaster did just fine before 1995 when there were no retrans revenues at all.

Nielson and other rating services are starting to count internet viewers. The broadcasters will be fine, they are reaching more people via the internet.
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post #187 of 593 Old 07-07-2013, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn - View Post

The notion that Aereo is going to knock broadcast TV off the air is a laughable bluff thrown-out by some network execs.

I sincerely hope that you are correct, and that OTA as we know it is here for a long time to come.
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post #188 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn - View Post

The notion that Aereo is going to knock broadcast TV off the air is a laughable bluff thrown-out by some network execs.

Retransmission revenues will probably come down. But the broadcaster did just fine before 1995 when there were no retrans revenues at all.

Nielson and other rating services are starting to count internet viewers. The broadcasters will be fine, they are reaching more people via the internet.

Before 1995, the broadcasters did not have the multitudes of competitors for viewers' eyeballs. They could actually charge a decent price for their commercials, and they did not have to buy the network programming...the networks usually paid the stations.

Internet viewing does not count toward the station's ratings, and the advertisers that pay for the local newscasts are not being seen (usually) on the internet feeds.

Without retrans money, stations simply cut back on quality programming, and they lay people off.
That's the facts.

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post #189 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Before 1995, the broadcasters did not have the multitudes of competitors for viewers' eyeballs. They could actually charge a decent price for their commercials, and they did not have to buy the network programming...the networks usually paid the stations.

Internet viewing does not count toward the station's ratings, and the advertisers that pay for the local newscasts are not being seen (usually) on the internet feeds.

Without retrans money, stations simply cut back on quality programming, and they lay people off.
That's the facts.

The re-trans fee change screwed everything up. The networks began charging because locals were now able to get money from pay-tv providers. Hell the networks are wanting so much more money every year that I bet locals are now worse off than they were before re-trans fees were permitted. As far as local telecasts are concerned, the only quality programming that's offered is network programming. 99.9% of local programming consists of "if it bleeds it leads" or "death-storm" news and paid programming. Locals used to provide a few quality shows, the dearth of quality local programming tells me that locals can't afford to do it. So local stations get more irrelevant every day, especially in the smaller markets.

I've felt for some time that the networks have been thinking of a way to "cut out the middleman" when it comes to their programming, because the locals add very little real value. Why just get a part of that fee when they can get the whole thing? A bad local affiliate can actually hurt the network while a good affiliate doesn't help it all that much. The Aereo dispute provides the cover that networks have been looking for. Don't believe me? Then how could a huge monolithic corporation like CBS say that it could convert itself to a cable network in a matter of a few months, unless it already had a plan in place that it could act on? I've worked for some pretty large corporations in the past, and nothing gets done that quickly.
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post #190 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 08:04 AM
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^^I was under the assumption that the retransmission fees were for the individual tv station. Each network owns a number of stations across the country, but they only get the retrans fee for the station they own, and not for stations that are affiliated with the network.

Local stations were losing ad revenue to the local cable companies as basic cable networks rose in prominence, allotting air time for systems to sell to local advertisers. Suddenly, the cable co weren't just distributors anymore, they became competitors. And the unfairness of a cable net augmenting their ad intake with a cable subscriber fee, while the higher profile broadcaster had to live only on ad sales began to take hold...


Dazed and confused over high tech.

Sigh...Concrap. The Internet Overlord Cometh
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post #191 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

The re-trans fee change screwed everything up. The networks began charging because locals were now able to get money from pay-tv providers. Hell the networks are wanting so much more money every year that I bet locals are now worse off than they were before re-trans fees were permitted. As far as local telecasts are concerned, the only quality programming that's offered is network programming. 99.9% of local programming consists of "if it bleeds it leads" or "death-storm" news and paid programming. Locals used to provide a few quality shows, the dearth of quality local programming tells me that locals can't afford to do it. So local stations get more irrelevant every day, especially in the smaller markets.

I've felt for some time that the networks have been thinking of a way to "cut out the middleman" when it comes to their programming, because the locals add very little real value. Why just get a part of that fee when they can get the whole thing? A bad local affiliate can actually hurt the network while a good affiliate doesn't help it all that much. The Aereo dispute provides the cover that networks have been looking for. Don't believe me? Then how could a huge monolithic corporation like CBS say that it could convert itself to a cable network in a matter of a few months, unless it already had a plan in place that it could act on? I've worked for some pretty large corporations in the past, and nothing gets done that quickly.
That's not true at all.

Retrans fees didn't start until well after the networks were already charging the local stations for the programming. In fact, retrans fees were the stations way to help pay for it. Stations now have two options when dealing with pay TV providers: "Must Carry", which requires them to be carried if any other local station in the market is carried or "Retransmission Fees", which allow the station to collect fees for being carried. They can't choose both. More stations are opting for the fees than they used to simply because they are realizing the cable and satellite companies need the local stations more than the local stations need the cable and satellite providers.

Further, the fees are collected by the local station and the networks only get a piece if they actually own a particular station that collects them. Most stations are not owned by the networks.

Finally, the reason a network could become a cable network so quickly is a) they already have all the equipment, which the use every single day to supply network programming to the affiliates and b) the affiliates merely have a contract to air the programming supplied to them. They have no other ties to the network (aside from those stations owned by the networks themselves). Local stations can leave a network just about any time they wish, just like a network can drop them as an affiliate if they wish to. That doesn't imply some great master plan in effect by the networks - it's simply the way affiliation works.
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post #192 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

That's not true at all.

Retrans fees didn't start until well after the networks were already charging the local stations for the programming. In fact, retrans fees were the stations way to help pay for it.
OK, I did not know that part of history. I had thought that the networks wanted a piece of the action.
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Stations now have two options when dealing with pay TV providers: "Must Carry", which requires them to be carried if any other local station in the market is carried or "Retransmission Fees", which allow the station to collect fees for being carried. They can't choose both.
Yes, this is common knowledge.
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More stations are opting for the fees than they used to simply because they are realizing the cable and satellite companies need the local stations more than the local stations need the cable and satellite providers.
Pay-tv providers only need locals because they carry network programming, which is still the most popular out there. If the ota networks went directly to cable, the vast majority of those stations would (rightly IMO) disappear.
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Further, the fees are collected by the local station and the networks only get a piece if they actually own a particular station that collects them. Most stations are not owned by the networks.

I read a little while ago that Fox required ALL it's affiliates to pay a fee for every pay-tv subscriber in it's DMA.
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Finally, the reason a network could become a cable network so quickly is a) they already have all the equipment, which the use every single day to supply network programming to the affiliates and b) the affiliates merely have a contract to air the programming supplied to them. They have no other ties to the network (aside from those stations owned by the networks themselves). Local stations can leave a network just about any time they wish, just like a network can drop them as an affiliate if they wish to. That doesn't imply some great master plan in effect by the networks - it's simply the way affiliation works.

There would still be a big legal mess getting out of those contracts, unless a plan was already developed before hand. If I was a station owner, I wouldn't be happy being sold an inferior product than what cable was getting. Talk about devaluing a station. Selling directly to the pay-tv providers would be a whole lot easier (and probably more profitable) than dealing with all of the various station groups. I wouldn't be surprised if all of the networks have had a plan in place for quite some time.
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post #193 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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Pay-tv providers only need locals because they carry network programming, which is still the most popular out there. If the ota networks went directly to cable, the vast majority of those stations would (rightly IMO) disappear.
Of course they would, unless they found alternate programming viewers wanted to see. Just look at the whole UPN and WB situation. Some stations that found themselves without a network survived by finding alternate programming and some disappeared. If you don't have a product anyone wants, you don't stay around long.
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I read a little while ago that Fox required ALL it's affiliates to pay a fee for every pay-tv subscriber in it's DMA.
Link?

Further, I would suspect that would be a motivation to ask for retrans money, not a result of it.
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There would still be a big legal mess getting out of those contracts, unless a plan was already developed before hand. If I was a station owner, I wouldn't be happy being sold an inferior product than what cable was getting. Talk about devaluing a station. Selling directly to the pay-tv providers would be a whole lot easier (and probably more profitable) than dealing with all of the various station groups. I wouldn't be surprised if all of the networks have had a plan in place for quite some time.
It's called a clause.

Network agreements with affiliates are pretty tenuous. They aren't as iron clad as you think. Most of the language deals with the right of a particular station in a market to be the only affiliate for a particular network in the market if the are the one, not for them to be the one. Those agreements are seldom long term and have many available outs.

You're seeing a conspiracy when it really boils down to a relationship of convenience. In other words, for now, it's convenient for the networks to sell their programming to the affiliates.
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post #194 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Internet viewing does not count toward the station's ratings, and the advertisers that pay for the local newscasts are not being seen (usually) on the internet feeds.

The ratings services are not frozen in time. Of course they will follow the traffic.
http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/tvs-connected-to-the-internet-to-be-counted-by-nielsen/
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Without retrans money, stations simply cut back on quality programming, and they lay people off. That's the facts.

Nonsense, still plenty of gold in OTA ads and internet ads. There were some links earlier in this thread.

BTW what exactly is that "quality" programming done by local broadcasters that you refer to? There is precious little of it. Sure local news is important, it won't disappear. One of the local affiliates in my city already streams news and such on Roku, and their OTA business seems unaffected.

As to layoffs, I doubt it, but technology is disruptive, and people move to new companies.
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post #195 of 593 Old 07-08-2013, 01:46 PM
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http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/will-aereo-force-fox-become-442313
From 2012-16, the broadcast networks currently stand to make $9.2 billion in retrans fees but $91.8 billion in advertising revenue.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/new-tech-aereo-repackages-networks-free-tv-article-1.1315102
In 2012, broadcast advertising revenue was $27.4 billion, divided among just nine networks, according to the financial website motleyfool.com. For the same period, cable advertising was $24.3 billion, divided among 76 networks


The proposition that networks and broadcasters will abandon their OTA money because some people are streaming the channels over the internet instead of using a real antenna is a silly bluff. Some folks understandably have their noses out of joint over losing retrans fees, but this is a modest disruption, adjustments will be made.
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post #196 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 06:37 AM
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"Flynn points out that while retrans fees paid to TV stations will rise to $3.02 billion per year, multichannel operators will pay cable networks, regional sports networks and premium networks $44.5 billion in affiliate fees."

So, the major network affiliates, whose programming is watched by the largest number of viewers, gets 3 billion, and the others get 44 billion? The affiliates usually are carrying network shows that get up to 10x the ratings of the nearest "cable" competitor..

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post #197 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

"Flynn points out that while retrans fees paid to TV stations will rise to $3.02 billion per year, multichannel operators will pay cable networks, regional sports networks and premium networks $44.5 billion in affiliate fees."

So, the major network affiliates, whose programming is watched by the largest number of viewers, gets 3 billion, and the others get 44 billion? The affiliates usually are carrying network shows that get up to 10x the ratings of the nearest "cable" competitor..
Well, the OTA stations are just getting started at the affiliate fee thing. Stations like ESPN have been doing it for 30 years.

I think the biggest fear is the stations will lose out on the fees before they can even come close to equity with some of the more popular cable networks as their advertising revenue continues to fall further away from the level of inflation - meaning, to keep growing, they have to add more ads since the value of each one gets smaller (relative to inflation) as the years go by.

Plus, programming costs keep going up as competition from cable stations who get both forms of income are able to bid up the pool.

That's what the local stations are afraid of: it's not what fees they collect now, it's what they'll need to collect later when advertising no longer pays the bills.
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post #198 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 05:06 PM
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to keep growing, they have to add more ads since the value of each one gets smaller (relative to inflation) as the years go by.....That's what the local stations are afraid of: it's not what fees they collect now, it's what they'll need to collect later when advertising no longer pays the bills.

You can name almost any business, and I can come up with reasonable theories on how their revenues might shrink in the future.

Look at newspapers. Their ad revenues shrank. But they've found ways to adapt and survive in modified formats.

I don't see the threats to local stations nearly as direct and predictable as that faced by newspapers. But if local stations have to adapt, I say so what. They are almost entirely middle men, redistributing the creations of others. The fact that there are now more distribution channels they have to compete with is just the way of free markets.

(BTW, one of the local broadcasters in my neck of the woods has created an excellent web site, they've become a real portal for local news and commentary. They also stream news and local programs on Roku.)

I value that they produce local news, that is a critical contribution. But they are far better situated than newspapers to finding ways to sell that content.

I'm an old-fashioned guy, I LOVE newspapers. I practically weep to see what the print editions have been reduced to. But I am OK with getting my news online.

Locally broadcasters are just another business that is being disrupted, and not so harshly at that.
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post #199 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 05:19 PM
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So, the major network affiliates, whose programming is watched by the largest number of viewers, gets 3 billion, and the others get 44 billion? The affiliates usually are carrying network shows that get up to 10x the ratings of the nearest "cable" competitor..
Well, your math is a bit off. For it to be a fair comparison, you're going to have to recalculate per channel per market and untie the bundles. $44B for a couple hundred cable slots versus $3B for between 3 and 9 cable slots per market. That said, there's still a healthy disparity. Break it down to per channel per subscriber and the differences aren't nearly as great. Go back to ad revenue divided per viewer and you'll see the affiliates even the score quickly. More when you add in the OTA viewers. At the end of the day, combine ad revenues and retrans fees for just, say, CNN and the same revenues for all of the, say, ABC affiliates and the ABC group quickly tromps CNN.

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post #200 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn - View Post

You can name almost any business, and I can come up with reasonable theories on how their revenues might shrink in the future.

Look at newspapers. Their ad revenues shrank. But they've found ways to adapt and survive in modified formats.

I don't see the threats to local stations nearly as direct and predictable as that faced by newspapers. But if local stations have to adapt, I say so what. They are almost entirely middle men, redistributing the creations of others. The fact that there are now more distribution channels they have to compete with is just the way of free markets.

(BTW, one of the local broadcasters in my neck of the woods has created an excellent web site, they've become a real portal for local news and commentary. They also stream news and local programs on Roku.)

I value that they produce local news, that is a critical contribution. But they are far better situated than newspapers to finding ways to sell that content.

I'm an old-fashioned guy, I LOVE newspapers. I practically weep to see what the print editions have been reduced to. But I am OK with getting my news online.

Locally broadcasters are just another business that is being disrupted, and not so harshly at that.
You say "so what" to the affiliates, but where do you think Aereo gets it's content from?

If they go away, so does Aereo.

Further, the newspapers are hardly doing well in the new digital world. They're cutting staff and eliminated divisions all over the place. The problem is, they can't get people to pay for the content online and the ads don't make the kind of money they do in print.

The flaw in all this new media is it doesn't pay the bills since it generates pennies in a world that used to pay dollars. The problem is, if no one pays, where do you think all that streaming content will come from?

These companies aren't charities.
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post #201 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

You say "so what" to the affiliates, but where do you think Aereo gets it's content from?
If they go away, so does Aereo.
I see Aereo, as it is currently structured, as just a passing phase. I expect Aereo will be licensing their content once they are established. Their "antenna farms" will become a quaint foundation story, like Steve Wozniak's plywood-backed first computer, or the BASIC interpreter that Paul Allen wrote.

I don't take seriously the possibility of OTA TV going away, not for decades anyway.
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Further, the newspapers are hardly doing well in the new digital world. They're cutting staff and eliminated divisions all over the place. The problem is, they can't get people to pay for the content online and the ads don't make the kind of money they do in print.

The flaw in all this new media is it doesn't pay the bills since it generates pennies in a world that used to pay dollars. The problem is, if no one pays, where do you think all that streaming content will come from?

These companies aren't charities.

I read somewhere the past 6 months that the newspaper business has downsized and stabilized. The remaining papers are still valuable properties.
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post #202 of 593 Old 07-09-2013, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn - View Post

I see Aereo, as it is currently structured, as just a passing phase. I expect Aereo will be licensing their content once they are established. Their "antenna farms" will become a quaint foundation story, like Steve Wozniak's plywood-backed first computer, or the BASIC interpreter that Paul Allen wrote.
Who do you think will license the content to them? You're not implying the networks that are currently suing them will, are you - cause that's Aereo's content.

The only way they can get that cooperation in the future is to burn down the company and rebadge it as something else. It's one of the reasons Napster had a chance when they tried to go legit. No one wanted to play ball with them.
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I don't take seriously the possibility of OTA TV going away, not for decades anyway.
...and then what? What will Aereo offer while every other cable and satellite company along with Amazon, Hulu and I-Tunes has CBS, ABC Fox and NBC content and they don't?

Aereo should have started off with a standing offer of $.10/sub for each affiliate that signs on and sold themselves as a legit means for people to access the broadcast signal who otherwise wouldn't be able to. Instead, they chose to take copyrighted content without permission. There's little chance of any deal making from here forward.
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I read somewhere the past 6 months that the newspaper business has downsized and stabilized. The remaining papers are still valuable properties.
They absolutely have not stabilized. More cuts are on their way. Eventually, all we'll see is internet reposts of AP stories done by a few select people from afar. That's the news of the future.

The newspaper industry has stabilized just about as much as the manufacturing industry in this country has - as in not at all, and circling the drain.
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post #203 of 593 Old 07-10-2013, 01:39 PM
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Who do you think will license the content to them? You're not implying the networks that are currently suing them will, are you - cause that's Aereo's content.
Yes, the very same. Or they can continue getting no slice. I predict they will be more motivated by good business than good vengeance; but that's just my guess, and it really doesn't matter. Aereo will expand content beyond their OTA antenna service.

The networks' vertical monopolies are being challenged and shaken. Although it will be a gradual process, they won't have the power to blackball new players. BTW, the cable companies tried to blackball the satellite companies using exclusivity agreements when satellite distribution first came on the scene. The courts said no dice. Content providers will have many more places to shop their material going forward.
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What will Aereo offer while every other cable and satellite company along with Amazon, Hulu and I-Tunes has CBS, ABC Fox and NBC content and they don't?
Who knows? They will be a content aggregator on the internet. I can't predict what they will offer any more than I can predict what Comcast or Youtube will look like in 30 years.

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Aereo should have started off with a standing offer of $.10/sub for each affiliate that signs on and sold themselves as a legit means for people to access the broadcast signal who otherwise wouldn't be able to.
EXcept as the courts and public see it, what Aereo did IS legit in every sense of that word.
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post #204 of 593 Old 07-10-2013, 02:07 PM
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I still think Aereo's biggest obstacle is a simple one... they don't supply a picture to a television set. And the predominant users of emerging technology aren't terribly interested in network programming. Unless there's a massive influx of Smart TVs capable of effortlessly handling Aereo's stream, their potential customer base is really small. And, if the networks offer up a competing service for free, that customer base gets even smaller. They need a set top box that runs on WiFi or 4G. Which will run up the cost enough that cable becomes competitive, again. Most Americans don't watch network programming on a computer. And aren't likely to, It has to be simpler to use than cable. So long as a computer is involved, it isn't.

Which is the same reason I think the networks are wasting time pursuing legal relief. Just not that big of a fish.

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post #205 of 593 Old 07-10-2013, 04:44 PM
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EXcept as the courts and public see it, what Aereo did IS legit in every sense of that word.
People keep sayuing that, but the courts have not ruled on it yet.

They merely ruled that Aereo didn't have to stop doing business while they're deciding. That's it. That has nothing to do with the merits of either side.

Frankly, though, the broadcasters have copyright law on their side. Retransmitting (via the web) and redistributing content is one of the key components to copyright law.

To rule against that would mean any content can be taken and redistributed without consent of the copyright holder and have a chilling affect on anyone who makes money off theuir content but chooses to display it publicly. Photographers, independent filmmakers and anyone else who puts things on TV, online or anywhere someone can grab it would be at risk of their material being passed around without compensation.

The protections Aereo hides behind were never intended for that purpose.
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post #206 of 593 Old 07-10-2013, 06:28 PM
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I still think Aereo's biggest obstacle is a simple one... they don't supply a picture to a television set.

They have a Roku channel. Roku has a very simple and intuitive interface. Roku is less confusing than the cable TV controls and menus.
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post #207 of 593 Old 07-10-2013, 06:31 PM
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That has nothing to do with the merits of either side.
Nope, you are wrong there. The judge panel refused to issue an injunction based on the merits of Aereo's case, they said Aereo was likely to prevail in future litigation.
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post #208 of 593 Old 07-11-2013, 01:33 AM
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They have a Roku channel. Roku has a very simple and intuitive interface. Roku is less confusing than the cable TV controls and menus.
Do they supply this unit? Do they send out a truck to help a user configure it? No. Easy or not, it still proves my point. Most people are not gonna run to Best Buy to buy a box they install themselves. I visit a lot of homes as part of my job. I see flatscreens hooked either directly into the wall or to a digital converter (non HD) that was all installed by the cable guy.

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post #209 of 593 Old 07-11-2013, 10:42 AM
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Don,

Thanks for pointing me to this discussion thread. The other one is the one that came up first in a forum search and I didn't know there was a duplicate.

Anyhow.....


Not surprisingly, a Boston station owner has sued Aereo in Boston (different judicial circuit than NY):

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-09/aereo-sued-by-hearst-tv-station-wcvb-in-boston-over-copyright
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Aereo Sued by Hearst TV Station WCVB in Boston on Copyrights

Aereo Inc., the online television service facing lawsuits by broadcast TV networks in New York for copyright infringement, was sued in Boston by a Hearst-owned television station over similar claims.

Hearst Stations Inc. said that Aereo has infringed the copyrights of its WCVB station by capturing its signals and retransmitting the programming to its subscribers without a license, according to federal court records.

“If Aereo is permitted to profit from the unauthorized retransmission of copyrighted television programming, WCVB will be deprived of existing and potential revenue streams from advertising and authorized retransmissions,” Hearst said in its complaint.

The broadcast TV networks, including CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, sued Aereo in New York in March 2012. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rejected the networks’ motion for an injunction that would have shut down the service, and a panel of New York appeals judges upheld that ruling in April. Immediately after that, Aereo announced plans to expand to Boston and other cities.

In May Aereo sued CBS Corp. (CBS:US) in New York after published reports said CBS might sue in Boston to try to shut down its service there. Aereo has filed a motion in New York to dismiss the networks’ suits, while the networks have petitioned the full appeals court to re-hear the arguments for an injunction.

Virginia Lam, a spokeswoman for New York-based Aereo, said the company declines to comment on the Boston suit.

WCVB produces more than 43 hours of original local programming a week from studios in Needham, Massachusetts, according to the court filing. Its shows include “Chronicle” and “On the Record.”

Hearst Stations is part of New York-based Hearst Corp.

The new case is Hearst Stations v. Aereo, 13-cv-11649, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net
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post #210 of 593 Old 07-11-2013, 11:06 AM
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Nope, you are wrong there. The judge panel refused to issue an injunction based on the merits of Aereo's case, they said Aereo was likely to prevail in future litigation.

It's really quite a bit more nuanced. 2-1 votes tend to be that way - it wasn't a unanimous verdict.

The three judge circuit panel, by coincidence, included the same judge who had written the majority opinion for the Cablevision case which was used as the basis for Aereo's argument of legality. That judge, Circuit Judge Chin, was the dissenter in the most recent decision and had some rather pointed comments in his dissent including the following zingers:

"Aereo's "technology platform" is, however, a sham..."

"indeed, the system is a Rube Goldberg-like contrivance, over-engineered in an attempt to avoid the reach of the Copyright Act and to take advantage of a perceived loophole in the law."

"By accepting Aereo's argument that it may do so without authorization and without paying a fee, the majority elevates form over substance."

"Aereo's contention that each subscriber has an individual antenna is a fiction because the vast majority of its subscribers are "dynamic users" who are randomly assigned an antenna each time they use the system. Although each antenna is used only by one person at a time, it will be randomly assigned to another person for the next use. In other words, this is a shared pool of antennas, not individually-designated antennas."

In any event, stay tuned as the broadcasters did appeal to the entire body of the circuit for a "do-over". Grab the popcorn!

Also, you may note that Aereo has declined to expand into California and nearby since that district court already shut down an Aereo-like competitor on the first go-round. Since their are conflicting rulings, this one has a potential to reach the Supremes, should the entire 2nd Circuit uphold the earlier decisions.

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