When Sirius/XM dropped Fox News Talk Radio, I suggested that Fox would likely pull out of Radio syndication, since they have a puny affiliate base on Over the Air Radio
Well, my prediction wasn’t bold enough. News Corp threatened today to pull all its network programming From over the air TV – no more Simpsons and whatever else is on Fox unless you pay for a subscription. I’m pretty sure the rule is still Over The Air TV must not encrypt their programming over the “public” airwaves.
With TV, it gets more tricky – unlike radio, News Corp owns local TV stations which would leave their O&O stations without network programming.
The reason is a company called Aereo, run by Barry Diller, the man who created Fox TV for News Corp. Aero is a service that allows people to stream over the air TV stations in New York on the Internet. Fox considers this theft of their intellectual property. Aereo charges a monthly subscription fee which allows time shifting programming using Roku Your subscription fee covers the “lease” of a dime sized antenna in Brooklyn that is your personal TV antenna. You have to live in and be in New York to subscribe – but a rollout in the top 20 national markets will happen if the decision sticks. You then access your personal antenna and recorded programs over the Internet.
A court in Las Vegas last week refused to shut down the service. It is based on the 2008 Cablevision decision that allows viewers to store programming on equipment they don’t own for later playback.
The target here is cable TV and the portion of your monthly fee they hand over to local TV stations or require bundling with channels you don’t want.
With IP delivered TV (see The Blaze)and movies and Local TV via Aereo, the Cable company just becomes the pipe, not the selector of what you see.
Google is waiting in the wings to take over the “providing the IP pipe” business – they have a press conference in Austin tomorrow to announce it will be the second city to be wired with Google Fiber (1 Gb/sec for $70 a month or free at 5Mb/sec
Down, 1 Mb/sec up)
Eventually radio will face the same issue if this stands (if there is anything left by then)