Broadcasters have a backup plan if they lose Supreme Court ruling to Aereo

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abc, supreme court, nbc, cbs, fox, aereo, broadcasters, tv streaming

Aereo is headed to the Supreme Court on April 22 to argue they should be allowed to broadcast over-the-air signals across the Internet to paying subscribers. Broadcasters like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC claim the company is stealing these signs and are suing for an injunction against the service.

Should the broadcasters lose their day in court, they’ve got a backup plan to try and thwart Aereo. In addition to lobbying Congress for a solution, at least one broadcaster has proposed bringing their content online to challenge Aereo.

Although nothing is official, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that CBS has the ability to launch a service that would stream programming live over the Internet as it is aired on television. Such a service would be powered by technology company Syncbak, the source said.

The broadcaster would charge customers a few bucks a month for the service which unfortunately would still include advertisements. And in addition to CBS programming, they might also include Showtime content for an extra fee.

It wouldn’t be easy to set up and there’d be a lot of logistics hurdles like pricing, billing costs and customer service costs. The only major hurdle might be sports leagues, which normally ink deals based on over-the-air broadcasts. Leagues would likely be worried that their TV audience would shrink and they’d lose value over the rights to future broadcast deals.

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