NFL and MLB ask the Supreme Court to hear a challenge against Aereo

By on November 18, 2013, 2:30 PM
internet, cable, espn, supreme court, cbs, nfl, aereo, mlb, streaming tv

Internet television streaming outfit Aereo has had success fighting off a multitude of broadcasters in court over the past couple of years to keep their business alive but their biggest battle is now upon them. The NFL and MLB are urging the Supreme Court to hear a challenge against Aereo as it is their belief the service is designed with the sole purpose of skipping out on paying retransmission fees to copyright holders.

In an amicus brief, the two leagues say those lost fees may force copyright holders to move content from free networks to paid cable networks like ESPN and TNT. The reason, they say, is that Aereo-like services can’t hijack and exploit paid cable network programming without authorization like they can over free broadcast TV.

Let’s look at the impact that moving to paid cable would have on broadcasters and viewers at home. At present, CBS, NBC and Fox broadcast roughly 90 percent of the regular season NFL games, all of the playoff games and the Super Bowl. The MLB, meanwhile, licenses about 400 games to broadcasters each year in addition to the World Series. Moving all of those from the big, free networks would have a huge impact on their ratings and advertising revenue.

Anytime the NFL puts their weight behind something, things get done. If you recall, the NFL was pretty much single-handedly responsible for ending the Time Warner / CBS blackout earlier this year. In my opinion, it all really depends on how serious the NFL is about pushing the deal. If they seriously threaten to take their content to paid television, it could spell disaster for Aereo in the court room.




User Comments: 7

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psycros psycros said:

If Aereo is illegal then so is Chromecast and any other form of personal video redirection. Their argument that their somehow losing money is ridiculous..the channel was free to begin with. As far as I know Aereo doesn't even screen out commercials.

axiomatic13 axiomatic13 said:

I am an Aereo customer and no the commercials are not screened out so all advertisers are getting even MORE market saturation with Aereo than they had previously due to increased viewership. It's a good service and the ONLY way to watch live TV on a Roku.

MilwaukeeMike said:

the two leagues say those lost fees may force copyright holders to move content from free networks to paid cable networks like ESPN and TNT.

Call their bluff, Aereo, it won't happen. Can you imagine the outrage If the NFL decided to not broadcast games over the air and required you to subscribe to cable? People would go nuts. Here in wisconsin Time Warner and NBC had a dispute and there were some Packer preseason games that weren't available on TWC, they were ONLY available over the air and other cable providers. It was a big enough news story to make the news almost nightly, and that was preseason!

If the NFL goes dark over the air across the country, they'd lose tens of millions of viewers overnight. It won't happen.

At present, CBS, NBC and Fox broadcast roughly 90 percent of the regular season NFL games.
True, but not representative of real circumstances. Fox broadcasts like 4 games at noon on sunday, you can only watch one. You can only receive a signal for one.

There are 5 games you can realistically watch per week. Thurs Night, Sunday Noon, Sunday 3pm, Sunday Night, Monday Night. CBS, NBC, Fox only have 3 of those, that's 60% of the games people actually watch.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I am an Aereo customer and no the commercials are not screened out so all advertisers are getting even MORE market saturation with Aereo than they had previously due to increased viewership. It's a good service and the ONLY way to watch live TV on a Roku.

How's the picture? Decent quality?

Guest said:

The reason, they say, is that Aereo-like services can't hijack and exploit paid cable network programming without authorization like they can over free broadcast TV.

Umm.. Why is it so hard for them to understand that Aereo-like services did not jijack and exploit? They are just merely let the users to rent individual remote antenna without tweak their content. They even didn't extra charge for each channels. Just to cost you to rent the remote antenna, bandwidth and hardwares.

I would like to see if NFL, MLB, CBS, NBS and others are actually losing the money instead of cable networks.

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

I am an Aereo customer and no the commercials are not screened out so all advertisers are getting even MORE market saturation with Aereo than they had previously due to increased viewership. It's a good service and the ONLY way to watch live TV on a Roku.

They may get more viewership, but they are losing out on re-transmission fees.

wastedkill said:

The re-transmission fees are a joke they shouldn't be allowed to give out fees they make enough as it is! Its like charging someone to watch something on YouTube its absolute bull! Normal TV shows I can understand but when it involves sports etc its just greedy

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