Monday, 13 January 2014

U.S Supreme Court grants cert in ABC v. Aereo: Impact on NFL and MLB Broadcasts?

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert in ABC v. Aereo, a copyright case which the NFL and MLB say could lead to them taking all their games off of free FV and onto cable.  Sports Illustrated writer and media expert Richard Deitsch asked me to analyze the case in his latest SI column.  My 500-word take is at the end of his piece.  Here's an excerpt:
...Major television networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS, have joined together to sue Aereo, a technology company that provides paying subscribers with antennas to receive and record live streamed broadcasts on their computers, tablets, AppleTVs and other devices. Aereo is only available in 10 markets—Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New York City and Salt Lake City— and, depending on the market, provides between 15 and 50 channels, none of which are sports channels. Aereo's controversy stems from the fact that it does not pay fees to stream (retransmit) network programming ... 

...The leagues ominously warn that if Aereo is ruled lawful, they will eventually shift all of their game broadcasts to cable stations outside of Aereo's reach...

...[But] by moving all of its games to cable, the NFL would lose the [Sports Broadcasting Act]'s exemption's protection and open itself up to years of antitrust litigation.  
To read the rest, click here.

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