Instead of Embracing Technology, Networks are Scared of it​


When the Internet started taking off, newspapers did not embrace the "new" technology until it was too late.

Now, papers are struggling to survive and trying to figure out how to make their paper work and be profitable on the Internet.

Fast forward to Today and you might see the same thing happening with TV stations.

The new technology is Aereo...and stations and networks are scared to death of it.

They have tried to shutdown Aereo in court but so have have had no success.

With Aereo, antennas to pick up programming from public airwaves and then deliver shows into homes that have a Web connection — for as little as $10 a month.

Aereo is available in New York right how. The company is planning to expand its service to 22 other markets this summer, CBS, ABC and other big networks have attacked the upstart company with renewed vigor.

In lawsuits, they argued Aereo is little more than a content thief. But their efforts to persuade federal courts to shut it down have failed. On Monday, Fox television’s parent company fired back, saying it might consider delivering its shows only through cable connections, no longer broadcasting them.

“We won’t just sit idle and allow our content to be actively stolen,” said Chase Carey, president of News Corp., which owns Fox Television.

The battle over Aereo, which was founded barely two years ago, underscores the television giants’ growing fears of the disruptive force of Internet video. With Web connections fast enough to deliver high-quality picture and sound, the cable and television industries’ long hold on the living room is loosening, with weighty implications for the way programming is created and distributed.

Faced with cable bills that typically reach well over $100 a month, 5 million households have abandoned cable, up from 2 million in 2007, in favor of much cheaper Web-based options, according to Nielsen. Netflix, for instance, offers an array of movies and TV shows to those with an Internet connection for a subscription of less than $10 a month. Through Apple and, consumers can pay a few dollars for each show they view.

As these alternatives have grown in popularity, the traditional model of television — which has long financed the creation of shows and padded the profits of cable companies that distribute programs — has trembled. But it has been able to hold its ground as the only source for the latest shows and live sports.

Aereo offers all of the programming that appears on CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, PBS and about two dozen other channels. Customers could see NCAA tournament games live or the most recent episodes of “American Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars.”

Such shows are also freely available to consumers who use antennas to get their television. About 54 million people still watch over-the-air broadcast television.

More on the story from the Washington Post