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Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Message Board

  • chrispaciello chrispaciello Jan 15, 2014 4:43 PM Flag


    Yep. Many, including almost everyone on the sale side of the street don't fully understand the situation here. The Broadcasters are trying to kill Aereo in the Courts. If it doesn't work they can go to Congress or the FCC. If the FCC declares Aereo a Cable MSO they are done. Congress can also legislate them away. If for some reason this doesn't work then the broadcasters can encrypt their signals. Which means if your the cable company you get the good stuff and can watch football, but if you are Aereo or have an antenna you will get garbage and no football. The issue is do we as a society want to take away free TV to the 13% of house holds that get it over the air. My guess, is it wont come to that. It's hard for me not to laugh when I see some sale side people say that Time Warner or DirecTV will go to an Aereo service. They can't!!!!! It's against the law, it violates the Telecom Act. The Telecom Act was written because 35+ years ago they tried to do exactly this! Congress stepped in and stopped it. The Telecom Act has nothing to do with the Supreme Court Case, it's locked in stone. The funny thing is it is not the broadcasters who are threatened by Aereo but the Cable Providers (although not really because you need a broadband connection). Any which way this story plays out, the broadcasters will NOT be hurt in a meaningful way. Unless they do pull the signal (rather than doing a dual signal) and Congress tried to take back their spectrum. Only way it happens. If someone knows a way Cable companies can get around the Telecom Act I'd love to hear it.

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    • My understanding is that the Telecom Act only requires cable companies to offer to carry the broadcast signal. It does not require them to pay whatever retrans fees the broadcasters want to charge. If MSOs were required by law to carry broadcast, why was TWC able to stop offering CBS, at least in the NY market, several years ago (unsuccessfully)? Time Warner gave up because they were losing subs, not because of the Telecom Act. According to the NY Times, Time Warner has publicly stated that if the Aereo service is upheld, it will consider copying the service.

      In any event, we'll see who files amicus briefs with the Supreme Court, to see if MSO's benefit. If the MSOs file, they probably benefit; if they don't, they probably don't benefit.

      I don't see the MSOs copying the service, but I do see them using the threat to reduce the cost of retrans.

      And finally, SBGI seems to be the only station operator tanking right now (hard to say; there aren't that many pure-play station managers out there), I don't think aereo is causing the problem. I am more inclined to think the Allbritton situation is getting ugly. But I'm the first to admit that I don't know.

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