New York residents might soon have to pay for their favorite
) TV shows. According to
, CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves said that the network will
switch to cable if Aereo wins the right to re-transmit shows
Moonves did not stop there. He also told reporters that he
expects broadcasters to remove their free content from Hulu and
said that CBS has no interest in buying the streaming video
Aereo, a new streaming video service that charges users a
daily, monthly or yearly fee to watch live (and traditionally
free) television over the Internet, is
expanding to several new markets
. The company was sued by TV networks in March 2012 for capturing
over-the-air signals with its own tiny antennas. The networks
argued that this was a form of copyright infringement.
"We think the lawsuit is over, but what we think is
broadcasters are doing is saying this is a terrible threat and
[they are trying to] get Congress to act," media mogul Barry
Diller told reporters this week, as quoted by
The Hollywood Reporters
. "I don't think it will happen, but [it's] up for grabs."
Diller, who serves as the Chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp
) and is famous for co-founding Fox Broadcasting Company, was
commenting on a U.S. appeals court ruling that allowed Aereo to
As the largest network in America, CBS can afford to switch to
cable, knowing that most of its existing viewers obtain the
network through a pay-TV service. In doing so, however, it could
open the door for competing networks to take center stage.
) has been eagerly waiting for an opportunity to revive NBC. The
ill-fated network ruled TV in the early '90s, banking heavily on
the success of ER, Friends, Seinfeld and Fraser. In the nine
years since Friends' retirement, NBC has fallen from first to
NBC is expected to dominate TV viewership for two weeks next
February when it airs the 2014 Winter Olympics. Comcast will use
the event to promote the new host of The Tonight Show, Jimmy
Fallon. The cable giant will also use it to promote a number of
new TV shows.
Last year NBC introduced Go On, Matthew Perry's latest sitcom,
to more than 18 million viewers when the first episode aired
during the Summer Olympics. The show initially maintained more
than 75 percent of those viewers but declined to less than six
million by the second half of the season.
Shortly before the season finale, NBC moved the show from
Tuesdays to Thursdays,
reducing the ratings
to just 2.66 million viewers.
On both nights, Go On was forced to compete with some of CBS'
biggest shows, including Person of Interest and Two And a Half
If CBS switches to cable nationwide to avoid Aereo's
expansion, NBC could use this as an opportunity to attain and
retain more viewers.
There is one catch, however: NBC will still have to compete
against Disney's (NYSE:
) ABC, the nation's second most popular network.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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