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Barry Diller had some intriguing comments on upstart Aereo during a Bloomberg TV interview: 1)...

Barry Diller had some intriguing comments on upstart Aereo during a Bloomberg TV interview: 1) If the legal battles go Aereo's way, Diller sees a radical revolution where consumers have one wire into their house. Think cord-cutting on steroids - potentially good for Netflix (NFLX -0.1%) but clearly bad for broadcasters (CBS, CMCSA, DIS, AMCX). 2) Aereo could be profitable at 10M-20M subscribers. 3) What about media heavyweights such as News Corp (NWS, NWSA) threatening the nuclear option of going to cable? Diller thinks it's a grab for fees that won't play well for consumers. (video)
Comments (10)
  • Content is king. The rest is just distribution, if Aereo succeeds, they'll be distributing nothing in due time.
    29 Apr 2013, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, but this isn't really about content vs distribution. It's about whether the current means of distribution are efficient or not? Clearly they are not. Content producers will still be able to sell advertising or subscriptions for their shows, but days of AMC trying to charge and arm and a leg for two hit shows amidst several channels worth of junk are hopefully, mercifully coming to an end.
    29 Apr 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • you are right, but you are confusing the two.
    Inefficient distribution pertains to cable and satellite operators, not the content providers.
    29 Apr 2013, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know what I said that makes you think that I thought "inefficient distribution" pertains to anything else. Distributors are foolishly paying retransmission fees to networks, who want people to watch their shows in the first place. Eventually this should stop and the networks lose that revenue, while the distributors can hopefully no longer charge ridiculous fees for basic service.
    30 Apr 2013, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Aereo's days are numbered. Low numbered.


    Their competition (cable companies) have extremely deep pockets for both litigation and lobbying.


    Every attempt to break traditional distribution models has failed and will continue to fail as long as it's fate can be fought by those traditional content distributors and owners.
    29 Apr 2013, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know about all that.... The argument vis a vis Aereo has been made that the free spectrum used by TV broadcasters is enormously valuable but the broadcasters themselves don't value it as highly as competition for the spectrum from, for example, mobile.


    If Aereo successfully pursues its business model, and so far there is no reason to believe it won't, and if indeed it forces broadcasters out of the spectrum, it is extremely, highly, tremendously unlikely that competition to fill that spectrum won't pop up that will ultimately be hurtful to the broadcasters business model.


    I personally suspect the competition, as you put it, or cable companies, are trying to hold the line here, but are absolutely developing fallback positions in the background.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • not to beat a dead horse but Aereo cannot be successful without content. It's that simple.
    If the content doesn't play along, Aereo will have nothing to distribute.


    Creating content and branding is an expensive business, no one is going to hand it over to Aereo so they can make money, and get cut out.
    It's completely illogical.


    This seems a lot like Napster. Whether or not the courts allow it go forward, seems immaterial, since the content providers could simply file lawsuits against Aereo for illegally appropriating its material.
    30 Apr 2013, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • I'm not sure you understand the business model. Aereo is simply retransmitting free over-the-air signal through the internet. They don't need content as long as there is a free over the air signal that someone wants to collect via a data feed instead of via an antenna.


    Broadcasters transmitting over-the-air are allowed to do so without having purchased the spectrum and do so only because they believe it makes them money. They can withdraw their over-the-air signal at will. Will they?
    30 Apr 2013, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • again, they don't OWN that content, you just can't do whatever you want with someone else's intellectual property, whether it is being "broadcast" over spectrum, seen live, seen on cable, satellite or on DVD.
    Further the ONLY reason the "spectrum" is worth anything is due to the content. Think about it, what would Barry Diller or anyone for that matter do with spectrum if he has nothing to broadcast?


    This is pretty straightforward.
    30 Apr 2013, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • They don't need to own the content in the current situation. Aereo is legally re-transmitting a signal and nothing more. The courts have agreed as much.


    Please advise how the content could magically stop being available for transmittal. As long as the broadcasters opt to broadcast their signal on the free spectrum, it is available for anyone to consume in any way they choose, including, for that matter, by re-transmitting it as Aereo does.


    The business model relies on the fact that free spectrum is attractive enough for broadcasters to avail themselves of it, and as long as there is a broadcaster using the free spectrum, Aereo will have a business model. The content is irrelevant to the model. Aereo derives no value from the content and doesn't pay for it; the broadcasters do.
    30 Apr 2013, 01:00 PM Reply Like
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