Aero seems to be making waves in the cable industry. The company streams free over-the-air channels to Internet devices for a small fee, and this has broadcasters such as CBS threatening legal action against it. A small company like Aereo offering such a service could be dangerous for broadcasters, but what if big cable companies start offering access to their content in the same way? Time Warner Cable CEO says it could do just that.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt talked about how interesting he finds the service Aereo offers, noting that he will be closely watching the legal proceedings and that "if it is found legal, we could conceivably use similar technology."
Of course, this is exactly what broadcasters fear. Cable companies pay large fees for access to channels, and if they were to switch to an Internet-based over-the-air system, broadcasters would stand to lose a tremendous amount of money.
Britt went on to acknowledge that consumers have a hard time affording the high cost of cable -- an unusual statement coming from the CEO of an actual cable company. Although there was no clear indication that this would change anytime soon, he did admit they would like to offer "smaller, more affordable packages" for those on a tight budget. “The structure needs more flexibility,” he said, criticising the longstanding bundle model that forces customers (and cable companies) to pay for less popular channels to access the ones they actually want.
We are still in the beginning phases of what could be a major shift in the cable industry, so only time will tell if companies like Aereo can actually lead to any kind of real change.