With more and more multimedia content being moved from traditional sources, such as DVDs and cable boxes, to the Internet, why not switch now? Aereo is a new service that takes over-the-air transmissions and streams them to a multitude of devices for a small fee, from as little as $1 for a day. FOX’s chief operating officer, Chase Carey, dislikes the idea of Aereo, claiming “We need to be fairly compensated for our content. This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can’t sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal. We will move to a subscription model if that’s our only recourse.”
This single statement alone is full of problems. Let’s run through each sentence to dissect what was said.
“We need to be fairly compensated for our content.”
Absolutely correct. However, the last time that anybody in America checked, they are already being overcompensated in the form of advertisements and sponsorships, both of which the viewer have to sit through while attempting to watch the little amount of programming that they have to offer that’s even remotely watchable.
“This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can’t sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal.”
So, how exactly is this considered stealing? What Aereo is providing is absolutely no different than what is already offered through the means of an over-the-air antenna, it’s just being distributed differently for the sake of making the consumer happy, which should be the number one priority of any business.
“We will move to a subscription model if that’s our only recourse.“
It wouldn’t be surprising if this would be considered a national broadcaster’s worst decision in human history. The viewers would simply have to sit back and laugh while their viewer count dwindles down to nothing.
Fortunately, Aereo doesn’t seem to be backing down just yet, as they provided Engadget with a reply:
“Aereo has invented a simple, convenient way for consumers to utilize an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television, bringing television access into the modern era for millions of consumers. It’s disappointing to hear that Fox believes that consumers should not be permitted to use an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television. Over 50 million Americans today access television via an antenna. When broadcasters asked Congress for a free license to digitally broadcast on the public’s airwaves, they did so with the promise that they would broadcast in the public interest and convenience, and that they would remain free-to-air. Having a television antenna is every American’s right.”
Obviously, FOX probably won’t take this route, but could most likely seek legal damages instead. Regardless, their mindset is completely wrong and out of focus, and Aereo seemed to have nailed it.