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Posts Tagged ‘Aereo’

It’s a Draw: Aereo Wins One Battle Loses Another in WCVB Suit

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A federal judge in Massachusetts has denied Hearst owned Boston ABC affiliate WCVB its motion for a preliminary injunction in its suit against Aereo.

However, the court also denied Aereo’s motion to transfer the case to New York, likely in hopes of getting a more favorable ruling.

“After considering the relevant factors, the Court finds that a preliminary injunction is unwarranted,” ruled Judge Nathaniel Gorton in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. “Hearst has not demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success on the merits nor the requisite irreparable harm and therefore it is not entitled to that ‘extraordinary and drastic remedy.’” Read more

Battle to Stop Aereo Spreads to Utah

aereo_304The battle by broadcasters to stop Aereo has now spread into Utah.

Salt Lake City FOX affiliate KSTU, CBS affiliate KUTV, MyNetworkTV affiliate KMYU and FOX Broadcasting Co. have filed suit against the streaming media company after its expansion into Salt Lake City in August.

The suit makes claims of copyright violations similar to the suits filed in New York and Boston.

“It simply does not matter whether Aereo uses one big antenna or hundreds of tiny ones to receive local broadcasts,” reads the complaint. “Nor does it matter that Aereo routes the broadcast signal through a server that copies it before retransmitting it. No amount of technological gimmickry by Aereo changes the fundamental principle of law that those who wish to retransmit copyrighted broadcasts may do so only with the copyright owners’ authority.” Read more

Aereo Expands to Houston, Miami, Dallas

Aereo has announced it will expand its streaming television service to Miami, Dallas and Houston next month.

Aereo will launch in Miami on September 2, Houston on September 16 and Dallas on September 23. The service previously announced plans to expand to Chicago and Utah.

“Consumers deserve more choice and flexibility in how they experience television and Aereo provides a high-quality, rationally-priced alternative,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said in a statement. “We believe we’ve built something meaningful for consumers and the overwhelming enthusiasm and response we’ve received has been humbling.”

Aereo Announces Plans To Expand to Atlanta

Aereo, the company that give customers access to over-the-air channels online with a cloud based DVR, has announced plans to expand its service to Atlanta beginning June 17.

“We’re grateful and humbled by the continued support we’ve received from consumers for our technology,” said Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia. “The response and enthusiasm from consumers across all of our expansion cities has been phenomenal. It’s clear that consumers want more choice and flexibility in how they watch television and they don’t want to be fenced into expensive, outdated technology.”

Aereo launches tomorrow in Boston.  The service has faced stiff legal challenges from broadcasters and content creators alike for its ability to grab content from over the air antennas and sell it to its customers without paying licensing fees.

Yesterday, the company announced a simplified pricing structure with an $8.00 a month fee for basic service and an upgraded plan with expanded DVR storage for $12.00 a month.

Broadcast Networks May Use the FCC to Beat Aereo and Make Billions Doing It

The FCC’s upcoming incentive auctions may be the weapon broadcasters are looking for in their fight against Aereo, the upstart company using over-the-air signals to sell content to consumers on the cheap.

One theory being floated says the threats by CBS and FOX to pull their networks off the air may not be so far fetched. Selling off spectrum would accomplish two goals: it would bring in billions to broadcasters while they stick it to Aereo by denying them the very root of their service, over-the-air signals. The Verge has more details on the idea that may make Aereo the game changer it promises to be, just not in the way it intended.

Conveniently, CBS directly owns 29 stations, most in major markets, while Fox parentNews Corporation owns 27. Every station sits on a lucrative license to regional spectrum that it uses to broadcast its signal. By submitting those licenses to the FCC’s auction, these networks would stand to see a windfall, shutting the door on Aereo (which relies on over-the-air signals to collect its source content) in the process. Meanwhile, American households that rely entirely on over-the-air television — a recent GfK report estimates them at 17.8 percent of the viewing public — would be the pawns in the game.

Looking to Prevent Future Lawsuits, Aereo Files Complaint Against CBS

Another legal battle is brewing between Aereo and the broadcast networks. In a complaint filed in New York federal court against CBS Broadcasting, the streaming television service has asked for a declaratory judgement that says the streaming technology does not infringe on the broadcasters’ rights and does not violate the Copyright Act of the United States.

CBS has said it will challenge Aereo in each market where the company introduces its technology. The Hollywood Reporter has more details on the suit, which seeks to bar CBS from further legal action against Aereo:

The upstart is now seeking a nationwide permanent injunction against CBS and its licensing entities. The big question in Aereo’s latest lawsuit is whether a New York judge will exercise authority to stop the broadcasters from seeking action in other jurisdictions.  CBS might attempt to have the case transferred.

A CBS spokesperson says, “The issue of unauthorized streaming of copyrighted television programming is now being contested in the 2nd Circuit and the 9th Circuit, and wherever Aereo attempts to operate there will be vigorous challenges to its Illegal  business model.”

Aereo Expands Streaming TV Service to Boston

Streaming TV service Aereo is expanding to the Boston metropolitan area next month. The technology will be available to pre-registered consumers on May 15 and to the general public on May 30.

“This is is an exciting step forward for the company. Today’s announcement is even more meaningful and special for our more than 60 employees who call the Boston area home, including me,” Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said in a statement. “I’m proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.”

Currently, Aereo is available only in New York. The streaming technology threatens to disrupt the traditional model of broadcast television. ABC, CBS, NBC Universal and Fox Television Stations have a pending lawsuit to block Aereo, and News Corp. COO Chase Carey has said Fox could be forced to convert to a cable channel if Aereo wins in court.

Boston’s DMA includes 4.5 million eligible consumers in 16 counties across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Sinclair CEO: More Acquisitions Planned

As we told you yesterday, Sinclair Broadcast Group is paying $373 million for Fisher Communications, the Seattle-based owner of 20 television stations and 3 radio stations. The Seattle Times notes “local media ownership takes a hit” with the merger:

When KOMO-TV owner Fisher Communications becomes part of the much larger Sinclair Broadcast Group of Baltimore this fall, Seattle will lose its last locally owned network television station. It also will lose a corporate name that played a prominent part in the region’s economy for just over a century.

[...] Fisher has about 775 employees nationally and does not disclose how many are at its Seattle headquarters. Asked whether those core employees will keep their jobs, a Fisher spokesman said, “It is premature to speculate about integration planning.”

Sinclair’s hometown newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, reports the company — which will reach 34 percent of the airwaves after the FCC’s approval of the sale — has no plans to stop expanding:

But during a conference call with analysts, [Wells Fargo senior analyst Marci] Ryvicker questioned whether Sinclair’s acquisitions would soon be limited by Federal Communications Commission rules saying a single owner’s group of stations cannot reach more than 39 percent of all TV households.

“Now that [stations] cover 34 percent of the country, how much more can you do?” she asked.

“We can do a lot more,” responded [Sinclair CEO David] Smith, explaining that the percentage of household coverage, as calculated by the FCC, would be far below 34 percent because the FCC counts UHF stations, or Ultra High Frequency, as half of a non-UHF station. Read more

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. Read more

Broadcasters Lose Appeal to Stop Aereo Streaming Service

In a court case that may spell trouble for companies looking to charge a fee for the right to broadcast their content, an appeals court today upheld an earlier decision not to issue and injunction against internet streaming TV startup Aereo.

A group of 17 broadcasters including ABC, CBS, NBC Universal, Disney and Warner Brothers filed two suits against Aereo more than a year ago. One suit was an attempt to stop the service from streaming the broadcasters’ content to its subscribers.  The other seeks monetary damages for what they claim are copyright violations.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a two-to-one ruling, compared Aereo’s streaming device to the DVR provided by Cablevision to its subscribers,

“After a lengthy discussion of the facts and analysis of that decision, the district court concluded that Aereo’s system was not materially distinguishable from Cablevision’s Remote Storage Digital Video Recorder system, which we held did not infringe copyright holders’ public performance right.” Read more

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