Bloomberg: Pay-TV providers looking to offer Aereo-like services

|By:, SA News Editor

Sources tell Bloomberg Time Warner Cable (TWC), DirecTV (DTV), and Charter (CHTR), each of whom have had retransmission fee squabbles with major broadcasters, are thinking of launching Aereo-like services that give consumers access to HD broadcast feeds picked up by over-the-air antennas.

A source adds Time Warner Cable has also considered buying Aereo, which is partly owned by InterActiveCorp (IACI)

If pay-TV providers decide to follow Aereo's lead, they could face challenges in scaling their services - a provider such as Time Warner Cable might need hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of antennas to meet primetime demand for broadcast channels - and guaranteeing service quality.

But with SNL Kagan predicting U.S. retransmission fees will rise to $6.1B in 2018 from $3B in 2013, pay-TV providers have plenty of incentive to explore their options, or at least create a bargaining chip.

Bloomberg's report comes as broadcasters petition the Supreme Court to shut down Aereo, after the service scored a legal win in a Massachusetts district court.