Apple is a winner in the Aereo online TV ruling, for now

“The victory Aereo won in a New York federal court Wednesday is only temporary, but it threatens to undermine the delicate contractual structure of American television in a way that could give Apple a boost,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Aereo is a start-up funded by ex-Fox CEO Barry Diller’s IAC that streams the local broadcast signals of TV stations via the Web to iPhones and iPads for a $12 monthly fee,” P.E.D. reports. “Even before it began operations, Aereo was sued by a small army of big content providers, including CBS, NBC Universal, Disney, News Corp. and WNET. Claiming they would suffer ‘irreparable harm,’ if Aereo were allowed to sell their copyrighted material without sharing the revenue, the content providers sought a temporary injunction that would have shut Aereo down.”

P.E.D. reports, “On Wednesday, Judge Alison Nathan denied the injunction. The case now goes to trial, which could take some time… In the long run — assuming a jury finds in Aereo’s favor — it could reboot the negotiations with content providers that Steve Jobs started but was unable to complete before his death. Jobs’ dream for Apple TV was to provide, for a monthly fee, the best of television without the rest of the 500 channels that most viewers never watch.”

Read more in the full article – recommended here.

15 Comments

  1. like and dislike this one. but what happens to all the cool niche channels if people choose not to subscribe? do we end up forced watching jersey shore and DWTS. UGH.

    1. The cool niche programs continue if enough people watch them. Supply and demand. You may have to pay more for your niche program, but the joy of not having DWTS surely outweighs that

  2. The cool nichie shows would be produced and sold at a price the market will bear. If the actors realy feel strongly about them then they will work for an amount that the market will bear not the inflated amounts they get now subsidized by the extortion we pay for all you can eat crap tv.

  3. No, in an a la carte world the prices will change, but what you spend will probably remain constant.

    Currently a chunk of the cable bill gets handed over to the TV cartel that shovels unending piles of shit onto our TV schedules each year. The Cable cartel makes sure you pay tribute to all to get the little you want.

    I want a free market in TV.

    I will gladly pay for what I watch, more if it is commercial free. I do not wish to continue to subsidize the nepotistic cabal of bullshit TV in America has become.

    “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful.”
    Edward R Murrow.

  4. The idea that broadcast television companies would be irreparably harmed by this is simply amazing. They are broadcasting these shows WITH commercials. This is how their business started originally. Anything that increases their audience should be welcomed. What I don’t understand is why they don’t stream their full broadcast including commercials already.

    1. Simple reason, silly rabbit ……..

      If they streamed you wouldn’t need both an internet service and tv ….. All one would need is high speed net service …..

      Look at an AT&T bill ….. Three items …..
      Phone
      Internet
      TV

      Does this make sense if TV was streamed there would be no more TV service to pay for?

      And then you still have the bandwidth issue streaming high speed?

      Someone, someday will break it down and we will gain productively so it will be a good thing when it happens, and it will happen!

  5. In the UK we have tvcatchup.com that just rebroadcasts all of the free tv. It costs nothing and starts with one advert and that’s it. The BBC et al took them to court but nothing became of it. It works on iPhones, iPads and laptops and is the reason that I no longer possess a TV. This is how it will work in a post-TV world.

  6. A la carte TV is a great idea. It will force studios and production houses to focus on quality over quantity, the way Steve Jobs, eh God, intended…

  7. If there ever were a post-TV world, everyone would be smarter and would awake from the stupefying slumber to take back our hijacked society from a few rich assholes.

  8. What seems amazing to me is why broadcasters have not went after companies such as Slingbox that essentially does the same thing? The only difference is that you own the hardware. Without Aereo, anyone today could still stream local television if they wanted. It only requires digital rabbit ears and the back-end hardware to stream, whether it is a slingbox or a desktop DVR setup such as BeyondTV or equivalent. You don’t need a subscription to get local content. It all comes down to money. In Aereos case, users are renting an antenna that they can control as they wish. It is no different than in-home rabbit ears. Broadcasters would not have a problem if Aereo paid rebroadcasting fees so they can get a piece of the pie. Instead, broadcasters should hurry up and create online, live content. Companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon could offer free OTA content if they wanted but still charge subscription for premium content.

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