The Supreme Court dealt a blow to Aereo, the startup that uses small antennas to transmit over-the-air broadcast TV signals on the Internet.
"What the Supreme Court said was regardless of your little individual antennas...to us this quacks like a cable system. Therefore it's a cable system. Therefore you have to pay," said media expert Scott Fybush.
The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 Aereo violated the copyright of the networks' content. Fybsuh points out the ruling is an affirmation of the changing broadcast business model. The networks charge cable and satellite companies retransmission fees, the right to air the content on their own systems.
In a statement, Aero said, "“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a massive setback for the American consumer...Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country’s fabric...And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle.”
Fybush believes there is a lesson for broadcatsers, even though they won.
"Consumers will move on with technology no matter what people try to do to stop it. If you want to get TV on your phone, ultimately you're going to find a way to get TV on your phone," Fybush said. "Some of the smarter broadcasters, CBS for example. is looking for a way to stream live to devices, for a charge of course, but potentially less than you would pay for cable. They know this is coming. they know people aren't going to pay $100 a month indefinitely for video content."
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