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How Aereo and the Dish Hopper Could ‘Dramatically Reshape’ the Television Industry

A pair of articles in Reuters and The New York Times take a look at the shifting television landscape. Reuters looks at Aereo and the Dish Hopper, “two fledgling technologies could dramatically reshape the $60 billion-a-year television broadcast industry”:

A favorable outcome for Aereo and the Hopper in court would push TV operators to dramatically reshape themselves. It could even force them to trade in their broadcast towers and become cable channels alongside networks such as Bravo, AMC and ESPN, says Garth Ancier, who has been the top TV programmer at Fox, NBC and the WB networks.

“They won’t have a choice,” Ancier said. “When someone attacks your business, sometimes you do something radical.”

Some of the top four major networks have been considering just such a move for months, and the emergence of the two technology threats could accelerate their decisions, according to Ancier.

That would keep the broadcasters’ signals away from Aereo and their ads free from the Hopper, which for now only zaps broadcast ads in recorded television. The downside? Broadcasters would have to turn their backs on the 11.1 million homes that Nielsen estimates still receives their TV signals from rabbit ears and rooftop antennas and do not have cable subscriptions.

Meanwhile, The New York Times‘ Jenna Wortham examines the growing number of people who have “crafty workarounds” to traditional cable subscriptions:

Last Sunday afternoon, some friends and I were hanging out in a local bar, talking about what we’d be doing that evening. It turned out that we all had the same plan: to watch the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” But only one person in our group had a cable television subscription to HBO, where it is shown. The rest of us had a crafty workaround.

We were each going to use HBO Go, the network’s video Web site, to stream the show online — but not our own accounts. To gain access, one friend planned to use the login of the father of a childhood friend. Another would use his mother’s account. I had the information of a guy in New Jersey that I had once met in a Mexican restaurant.

Our behavior — sharing password information to HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming sites and services — appears increasingly prevalent among Web-savvy people who don’t own televisions or subscribe to cable.

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