Aereo Chief: The Networks Are Bluffing

The head of Aereo thinks the broadcast networks are bluffing when they talk about taking their programs off the air and putting them on cable only if the courts rule in Aereo's favor. Seeming to suggest that Aereo, a company that provides a system employing tiny antennas that allows users to watch broadcasts on mobile devices via the Internet poses little threat to the networks, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia remarked at an Advertising Age conference in New York that he was merely an engineer at the bottom of the food chain whereas the networks have an obligation, a public interest to provide their signal free to viewers. Moreover, there are millions of viewers who still receive their television programs over the air. Would the networks be willing to sacrifice them -- and the money they represent in terms of ratings -- to win their battle with little Aereo? As for the possibility that lawmakers would rewrite the applicable laws to stamp out Aereo, Kanojia commented, My belief, which is maybe a naïve immigrant's perspective of fairness, is there are lawmakers in this country who are very thoughtful and understand the value of competition, the value of alternatives, and who understand consumer protection.



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