Tuesday, 22 April 2014

US Supreme Court will decide the future of Television. Today.

The US Supreme Court might decide the future of Television, today.

Aereo, a start-up, rebroadcasts TV content like Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS on the basis that those signals are free and in turn it charges customers to watch them (about 8 usd a month).

Subscribers can watch, record and see a lot of content on their various devices.

But cable companies like Time Warner and Comcast, pay those broadcasters billions, to be allowed re-broadcast their content. They in turn sell it on to consumers as part of a cable subscription (like Sky).

Broadcasters have sued Aereo on the basis of copyright infringement. However, if Aereo's model is found to be legal, this will be a dramatic day for cable companies and for traditional TV broadcasters.

If Aereo loses, it might have to shut down. If it wins....re-broadcasting free signals is now going to expand and perhaps broadcasters will be forced to do it themselves and by-pass cable.

For example, NFL (America Football) would overnight be "free to air" through re-broadcasters online. 

But of course, the bigger picture is copyright and as to who owns it and what rights the copyright holder has. 

However, the even hugely bigger picture is that TV Broadcasters have now to resort to legal actions to defend their business. Always the sure sign that technology has overtaken them. And it has.