Aereo — 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 an US$12 monthly fee — has won the support of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), reports “Reuters” (http://macte.ch/5rbzF).
The networks — including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, PBS and Univision — are trying to torpedo the service, arguing that Aereo, which allows consumers to access local broadcast signals over their computers, infringes on broadcast copyright.
However, CEA and other Diller allies are contending that Aereo, which has only been rolled out in New York City, is basically giving consumers a new way to access the signals that they already can access free with standard over-the-air antennas to their TV sets, notes “Reuters.”
“Our legal system can and must favor innovation over the status quo,” says Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO, in a statement Monday. “Our American exceptionalism and economic growth rely on innovation and we must fight legacy industries seeking to maintain their old ways of doing business.”
Aereo (https://aereo.com) has come up with a way to stream local television stations to paying subscribers on the Internet, “potentially forming a new cord-cutting threat for cable and satellite distributors.” The company recently unveiled the service which went ive in New York City only (for now).
Aereo can stream all programming of the major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) and include an Internet-powered digital video recorder. No cable or satellite channels are offered. However, the service will only work as long as users are in the local market.
“If you have this and you have Netflix, you absolutely have the ability to not have a standard cable subscription,” says Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of Aereo. Barry Diller, who created the Fox network 30 years ago and now wants to free it and other networks from the chains of what he calls the “closed cable-broadcast-satellite circle,” is one of the financial backers of Aereo. He told the “New Yokr Times” that it “pries over-the-air broadcast television out of that closed system.”