There are countless of online TV broadcasting services out there, together with the gadgets that enables them, but if you happen to use Aereo online TV service and be happy about it, you already know by now that Aereo is fighting for its life and right to bring you your favorite shows in the easy and cheap manner that it does so far. You already probably know also that Aereo is caught up in a legal battle with major networks, including titans such as ABC, 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal and CBS, while this week the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal made by a handful of media companies ready and willing to bury Aereo.
How did this happen? In order to answer this question, let’s see how Aereo online TV service operates in the first place. According to the specialists interested in the legal issue of Aereo operations, the conflict emerges from the following reason:
Aereo is basically capturing the networks’ broadcasts for free and then collecting money from us to watch them. Aereo isn’t paying licensing fees for those shows, the way a cable company must.
The defense employed by Aereo is quite poor in the eyes of the networks involved in this legal battle.
Aereo says that it’s simply an antenna-renting service. And indeed, it does maintain a separate tiny TV antenna for every single subscriber,
the broadcasters believe that Aereo’s service has created a blueprint that, if followed by other pay TV companies, would allow cable providers to avoid paying licensing fees that are expected to total more than $4 billion in 2014.
The issue between Aereo online TV service and major networks is not new, as Aereo managed to win a few preceding legal battles, but now things got very serious. The concerns related to illegal broadcasting may even lead to the development of new definitions of what broadcasting really is, as some specialists infer. Why is this so important on a large scale? In the words of David Pogue,
The legal story, though, is far more important. Both sides claim that the Supreme Court’s decision will have immense repercussions, affecting cloud computing, streaming video, TV-show availability, and so on.
Even if as a service, Aereo is incredibly cheap and easy to use, it is still very limited to a narrow niche of customers and an even narrower pool of population. The service is available only in 11 cities throughout the United States and the service addresses only the ones who gave up on traditional cable and satellite TV, cutting the cord completely.