I’ve talked before about how we are starting to see a shift in the world of TV and today there is a story about how that shift might be coming sooner than expected and we are starting to see the changing face of TV.
News Corp, the parent of the Fox Network among others, announced that if U.S. courts do not stop internet start up Aereo Inc. from transmitting shows like The Simpsons without permission, that they would pull the Fox Network off the air and only broadcast through cable.
My guess is that you have never heard of Aereo Inc. and that you had no idea that this dispute has been in the courts since last year. That’s cool. You aren’t expected to know everything. Aereo Inc. is a company that takes TV that is broadcast over the airwaves and puts that broadcast on the internet for their customers to access anywhere there is an internet connection. Does Aereo Inc. pay the broadcast networks for the use of their programming? No. They are in effect stealing the broadcast and they are rebroadcasting said programming without the express written consent of the networks and as we all know, doing such a thing is a no no, at least that’s what the networks are saying in their lawsuit.
So how does this change things? Well if Aereo Inc. wins their lawsuit, all broadcast TV will be considered fair game to do whatever anyone wants with it. News Corp has said that if this happens, they will no longer broadcast their shows over the airwaves and will only broadcast through cable. If News Corp goes this way, everyone else will follow and we will see the end of homes with rabbit ears trying to get that weak CBS signal to come in so they can watch Barnaby Jones or Matlock.
I am on the side of the broadcasters on this one. No one goes through the trouble of creating and developing programming to put out there for another company to use for free. They do have to get paid for their work (even the writers of 2 Broke Girls get a paycheck believe it or not). Ending the broadcast of TV over the airwaves will be a huge paradigm shift in TV and any time there is a big shift, more change usually comes about.
When there is more news from the courts on this, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.