Aereo's Hail Mary Strategy

#1
As I (ahem) predicted, Aereo is now claiming the right to a compulsory license under the 1976 Copyright Act. They make no mention of any retransmission fees as per the the 1992 Cable Act. There are two definitions of "cable company" -- one for each law -- and they are quite different.

Experts are predicting that if Aereo's "hail Mary" strategy succeeds, they may be able to start service again with no change in their fee structure. On the other hand, if the FCC amends its regulations and declares Aereo a cable company under the Cable Act, they would have to raise their fee from $8, to approximately $20 per month.

Of course the broadcasters have moved for immediate dismissal of Aereo's new theory, which is to say they've moved for dismissal of the theory that won the case for them under the Supreme Court!

You can read the broadcaster's argument, followed by Aereo's response, in a joint letter to the 2cnd Circuit Court which will be reconsidering it's earlier decision (the one that brought this to the attention of the Supremes) in ten days at the earliest.

You can find the letter at Aereo's blog site: All Aereo Blogs

A few of the news outlets got it right, this time. I even liked Time's piece: TIME on Aereo

I've read at least 50 comments to stories like this, and so far I've seen only two that were negative to Aereo's new strategy. It seems like the winds of popular opinion are shifting.

Here is my BOLD PREDICTION: Aereo will gain the right to call itself a cable company under the '76 Copyright Act, though it may not be in time to keep the company afloat. This will let in a whole flood of companies that have been trying for years to attain that status. Many of them will apply for, and receive, the compulsory license (which is compulsory for the broadcasters as well as the cable/CATV-like companies).

But then the FCC will bow to enormous pressure from the broadcasters, and change their regulations so as to include all "cable-like" companies under the '92 Cable Act, thus imposing the expensive retrans fees which are already crippling the industry. Anyone remember SkyAngel? They diligently appealed to the FCC for the right to pay those hefty fees.

Oops.

Rick
 

James

DTVUSA Member
#4
Interesting addition to your predictions...adding Dish Anywhere to the mix. This is going to be interesting.

This is just the first step in the much larger Fox vs. Dish case that will kick off in earnest in January of 2015, but this decision has kept Fox from landing an early KO punch. It's good news, but the future of streaming your network TV is still very up in the air.

Gizmodo
 
#5
Interesting addition to your predictions...adding Dish Anywhere to the mix. This is going to be interesting.

This is just the first step in the much larger Fox vs. Dish case that will kick off in earnest in January of 2015, but this decision has kept Fox from landing an early KO punch.
You mean the 9th Circuit Courts denial of Fox's injunction request stopped a KO. The Aereo decision just gave Fox a new argument -- which really should have worked, AFAICS. I can't imagine Dish Anywhere will continue to operate in its present form under the Aereo decision. Not for very long. They might follow in Aereo's footsteps, and try to reinvent themselves.

SkyAngel never got their license. They still exist as a company, but as stated by Wikipedia, "Sky Angel was a Christian television show provider." As a result, there is currently no legal way to get the Fox News Channel without paying a cable, satellite, or fiber optic company.

R.
 
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#7
That's a good summary of the situation in June of 2012. Long story short: since then the FCC has continued to delay making a decision on the case. If they had declared SkyAngel to be a multichannel video programming distributor (an "MVPD" like any cable company), the content providers would have been forced to deal with them. Instead, Discovery Channel and others pulled the plug because of pressure from the much larger cable and satellite companies. SkyAngel no longer had a profitable business model. So on January 14 of this year they discontinued all their IPTV (Internet Protocol TeleVision) channels.

Here is the official notice: http://www.skyangel.com/update/

R.
 
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