Sunday, January 19, 2014

Start-Up Aereo found an opportunity in broadcast TV that had a technology fix--maybe

Aereo is an audacious technology play in the media space. If it can overcome a formidable legal challenge  it could be quite disruptive to the cozy broadcast television business model.

Available channels
At one level, Aereo offers by subscription what is available for free: broadcast TV programming. That is, local channels for CBS, ABC, Fox, The CW and some others. The twist--for $8 per month--is to provide it to a subscriber's PC, tablet, or any other Internet connected device, without the need for a cable service or a local antenna.

The broadcast networks--and their local affiliated stations--are livid about this. They receive billions of dollars now form cable and satellite service in retransmission fees. They are concerned this might end if Aereo survives. The lower courts have upheld Aereo. Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

Aereo was started by Chet Kanojia, a serial entrepreneur -- also a Northeastern grad--who employed a novel technology to make the service possible without violating--as he sees it--copyright regulation.

The narrative for Aereo actually fits in  to several themes that have already been developed in our course. Can you identify them?

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