File this one under moves we didn’t see coming – a spokesperson for Time Warner Cable said if they can’t reach an agreement with CBS over retransmission fees (money that CBS charges for the right to air their content), they will recommend that customers try Aereo instead.
Naturally, both sides are trying to paint the other as the greedy party with CBS going so far as to bash Time Warner on their radio stations. But ultimately, it would be the consumer that would lose out if a deal isn’t reached. CBS is one of the country’s top broadcasting networks and if their programming is pulled from Time Warner, there will no doubt be a lot of angry customers to deal with.
Whether or not it gets that far, however, remains to be seen. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where CBS would allow the cable provider to promote Aereo as doing so would bring more publicity to the startup than ever before.
If you recall, Aereo has been a prime target for major television networks due to the fact that they don’t pay any retransmission fees to broadcasters in exchange for airing their programming. Pretty much every major broadcaster in the US has taken legal action against the company but thus far, it’s Aereo that has come out on top in the courtroom.
Meanwhile, Aereo presses ahead with plans to launch their service in Salt Lake City next month. By the end of the year, the company hopes to be in more than 20 different markets across the country.