Controversy has erupted over the cheap video broadcast company, Aereo. It utilizes over-the-air broadcast signals via tiny antennas, which grants customers access to anything that’s airing on TV for only $8/month.
This has become a digital rights issue, as we discussed in class. This is a negative for television manufacturers, because people who use Aereo don’t need a TV. Cable/satellite companies are upset because they might lose business, since Aereo’s cost of only $8 a month is much cheaper. And broadcasters aren’t happy because they won’t be receiving their re-transmission fees.
The NFL and MLB also are not happy, according to a Time article. They are threatening that if Aereo is deemed legal and acceptable by the court, that they might start charging money for viewers to watch their programming. Broadcasters are actively trying to get federal judges involved in shutting down Aereo. Their argument is that Aereo is stealing. Thus far, the courts continue to side with Aereo.
If Aereo is finally ruled legal and the broadcasters can’t do anything more, I think this will change the entire TV and broadcast industry. I mean, who is going to willingly pay extra for a TV subscription when you can see all of the same things on your computer (if you have a computer). I still feel that the majority of people will keep doing the same thing, but over time, I think this is a new trend that is foreshadowing the future of the broadcasting industry.