Well, professional sports has officially decided that TV startup Aereo is a bad thing and must be stopped or else their business will be impacted severely.
Recently the NFL and MLB joined a slew of major broadcasters in asking the Supreme Court to stop Aereo from operating due to copyright violation. The two organizations filed their own brief with the courts last week.
Aereo streams and records freely available over-the-air local television content from major broadcasters like ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, CW via desktop computers, set-top boxes, and mobile devices. The service uses a tiny antenna for every subscriber — so it’s like outsourcing the antenna you’d need to set up at home to record broadcast content. Aereo costs $8 or $12 per month, depending on how many hours of programming you want to record, which is far lower than what your cable provider would charge for essentially the same services.
The problem is, major broadcasters are saying that Aereo is infringing on copyrights, even though its service is only available to those within a specific locality. Basically, those broadcasters are angry that they aren’t being treated like cable networks already, and (like NFL and MLB are now doing) they have even said they may remove all content from their broadcast stations and put them on cable — a threat that seems rather hollow, as VentureBeat previously pointed out.
If the courts don’t stop Aereo, professional sports leagues say they’ll move their games from broadcast networks to cable stations like ESPN, TNT, and others. That would seriously hurt Aereo’s chances of staying relevant. However, thus far the courts have ruled in Aereo’s favor.