Saturday, January 11, 2014

Internet TV, the Future Of

You might have noticed that content is getting distributed in a lot of different ways on a lot of different platforms. Some of our fine, entertainment conglomerates aren't pleased with some of the pipelines.

... Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon and devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast all make it easy to watch Internet TV. Many of the major Over The Air networks — ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS — however don't make it easy to watch all their shows on the Internet. Many people want to cut the cable or satellite cord, but find it hard to watch the major broadcast networks even with an OTA antenna. Aereo makes it easy for users to watch their local OTA TV over the internet. ...

TV networks hate this idea. Rather than allow their shows to be streamed to users, Major broadcasters and media companies such as News Corp., Walt Disney, Comcast, CBS, NBC and Univision have all sued Aereo. Fox even threatened to take its stations off the air entirely and turn the "Fox broadcast network to a pay channel." These companies are afraid they'll lose all control of how their content is distributed and that in turn will ruin their local TV stations and destroy the value of their cable and satellite TV deals." ...

SCOTUS has taken up the issue of "Whether a company 'publicly performs' a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet." This is "a major dispute on the right of the television industry to stop the Internet streaming of its copyrighted programs by a firm that does so without permission and without paying anything." ...

I haven't the foggiest idea how this shakes out. I find it amusing that Aereo is a Barry Diller company, and that Barry pretty much invented the Fox Television network , so we have the spectacle of Old Barry Company suing New Barry Company.

If I were good at gambling (I happen to suck at it), I would place bets on the conglomerates prevailing here, because the Supremes are heavily tilted to business ... and BIG business in particular.

But let's not bullshit ourselves. Whatever the SCOTUS decides, there are going to be ripples and then waves with distribution methods and profit margins, and it will (ultimately) smack content creators on their soft seating areas. It always does.


Diablo said...

This is a farce. Those comgloms want to sell airtime for commercials. That's how they make their money. The true content is the commercials not the shows themselves.
As a "consumer" I can't stand the constant barrage of commercial interruptions. Thank goodness there's options for the consumer in the form of dvd's and the internets.

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