Surprising Unintended Consequences of Aereo


Some time ago I wrote how Aereo might be the next Napster. I compared Aereo to Napster because I didn’t think Aereo wold survive legal challenges. Installing a mini-antenna for each subscriber seemed like legal trickery that would lose in court. But so far Aereo has won in court including the recent decision that Aereo subscribers are not violating copyright.

Now comes along FOX who says they’re not going to stand around and watch Aereo “steal” the signal. No, FOX is threatening to turn off the over the air broadcast, in the NYC area at least.

Would FOX actually do that? The downside is wiping out reception for viewers that legitimately receive the signal with a roof-top antenna. And if CBS NBC etc follow suit it would mean the end of an era for broadcast TV.

aereo logoOn a technical sidebar, I wonder if the broadcast engineers over at FOX couldn’t be more clever, i.e. surgical. If there exists a mini-antenna matrix on a single building there may be a  way to create a “hole” in the RF signal strength at that point. Maybe.

In any case if Aereo’s success leads to the elimination of over the air broadcasts, Aereo turns out not to be a cord cutters friend so much as a “cable operator lite”. For $12/month or $80/year you get about 31 channels right now in NYC, basically everything you can pull off the air.

Have any of you tried Aereo? What do you think of the business model and it’s impact on cord cutting? Let me know in the comments below.


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12 Responses to Surprising Unintended Consequences of Aereo

  1. Bob says:

    Would the FCC allow them to eliminate OTAB? Probably, money talks in D.C. I don’t use Aereo but I am able to watch New York stations on Came in handy the other day when the local channel interrupted Judge Judy for a special report, went to filmon and CBS channel 2 in NYC to continue watching JJ.
    I’d like to think these networks are fighting a losing battle, they want viewers only to be able to access them by cable, it’s not happening, OTT TV, Netflix, Hulu, online free sites, it’s over for them to think cable is the only way to watch.

    • Greg says:

      My neighbor once joked that if you cut he cord all you can watch is Judge Judy. If this is a losing battle it is a long one. Cable is still holding on to most of their subs.

        • Len Mullen says:

          So, we lose The Voice? Never seen it. LOL. If this had happened during the Seinfeld era or during Idol…but now with CBS and ABC dominating the ratings and the airwaves filling with RTV, ME, ION, and all the PBS substations, this would have little impact.

          I wonder how the NFL will feel about their OTA customers being blacked out? Maybe move local games to another network in unserved markets? Stream for free?

          1 BIG BANG THEORY, THE CBS 10.3 17,242
          2 CBS NCAA BSKBL CHAMP SA-2(S) CBS 10.2 17,104
          3 ACM AWARDS(S) CBS 9.2 15,505
          4 PERSON OF INTEREST CBS 9.1 14,570
          5 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 9.0 13,983
          5 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 9.0 13,909
          6 VOICE-TUE NBC 8.7 13,934
          7 CBS NCAA BSKBL-BRIDGE(S) CBS 8.5 14,330
          7 TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 8.5 13,706
          8 VOICE NBC 7.9 13,310
          9 CASTLE ABC 7.6 11,792
          10 NCIS CBS 7.3 11,153

  2. Len Mullen says:

    Such fun. At this point, I’d sooner lose Fox than ION. Seems to me that ad supported services benefit from additional eyes and I suspect that pressure is coming from the premium service providers who cannot be happy about more eyes being on broadcast ads.

    Comcast could do the same with its NBC, but that might be to obvious and make things uncomfortable for the regulators.

    • Greg says:

      ION, are you a big Monk fan Len? That is a good show. The other consequence I didn’t mention is that Comcast can duplicate Aereo’s mini econo lineup probably overnight. But doubt they’d want to see their high profit model fade away.

      • Len Mullen says:

        I like the show (love Traylor Howard). The wife loves the show.

        I really only watch football, New Girl (another crush), Raising Hope, and whatever else they program around it (sitcoms — no cooking, Glee, or Idol for me).

        If the cable companies provided a comparable lineup in HD at Aereo prices, they would kill Aereo and gut their own premium customer base.

        The next opportunity to confront Big Entertainment will be the rise of independent studios which will get to play Big E against Netflix, Amazon, and other OTT Services. Conversely, Netflix, Amazon, and other OTT Services will use independent content to pressure Big E on price. Should work out good for consumers.

  3. Bob says:

    A suggestion, make this a group on FB? Would be easier to interact and trade info, just a thought.

    • Greg says:

      Feel free to link to us on your FB but I prefer the freedom of my own website over a a FB group format. And I think twitter is much more interesting

  4. Len Mullen says:

    I’ve Pre-registered for Aereo. I have an antenna, but I want to see what it is all about.

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