Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Aereo shuts down for now, lobbies to "protect my antenna"


Aereo TV suspended operations around noon on June 29, and has directed consumers to a lobbying campaign website “Protect My Antenna”here.

Is Aereo conceptually like satellite TV (with the Dish)?  I have never used it, although I admit that the idea of a service that does not require cables to your home (that storms and falling trees can cut) with all channels, is appealing.  I haven’t looked at the business model for satellite, but I presume that it pays for licenses to use content from the various stations.  A similar idea would exist for Sirius XM radio subscription for music in your car.

On the surface, right now, this doesn’t bode well for Aereo-like service.
  
It’s true, consumers can use their own rabbit-ears or digital antennae (since 2009) free.  But even with this, there are restrictions.  The NFL and MLB have always said that consumers cannot charge admission to watch games.  That was an idea that could have been of issue in the 1960s.  What comes to mind is a Sunday afternoon picnic in June, 1961, right after I graduated from high school, when the “new” Washington Senators blew a 7 run lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in Fenway Park in Boston.  I saw it all on a porch with the burgers and goodies.  And it was free.  

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