Diller Prepping For A "Great Fight" With Broadcasters
Aereo, the new broadcasting service being launched by media mogul Barry Diller, maintained in a court filing on Monday that it is "entirely lawful" and that it plans to operate within regulatory guidelines. The Aereo system "rents" tiny antennas to users for $12 per month with which they can pick up over-the-air broadcasts and direct them to DVRs via the Internet for delayed viewing. "Consumers use the Aereo Technology to do no more than what they are entitled to do access local television broadcasts on the public airwaves using an individual antenna; create unique copies of that broadcast content for their own personal use; and play back their unique recordings to their televisions or other viewing devices for the personal use," the filing stated. Meanwhile, appearing at the South by Southwest conference, Barry Diller also reiterated that the system falls within legal parameters. He said that when broadcasters demand that Aereo pay them retransmission fees, "I tell them, when you get Radio Shack to pay you a slice of their profit for selling an aerial, we'll pay you." Diller appeared to be braced for a lengthy showdown in court over the issue. "one of the reasons I love it is it's going to be a great fight," he said. Aereo is due to launch in New York on Wednesday, and Diller said that he expects it to expand to 75 to 100 cities within a year.