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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Will TV and radio remain free? Will anyone care?



Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
Aereo uses antenna farms to capture broadcast signals that can then be streamed on the Internet and viewed on a device of the customer’s choosing.

It's money that matters.  Do you have a right to watch local over the air television broadcast free (we theoretically own the air waves...as in "we the people." Is the battle between broadcasters and Aereo, a start-up company that delivers over-the-air signals via the Internet, about the future vs. the past? 

The reality is that Aereo and similar products are simply antennas that pick up free over the air signals to show on a very small television screen...your cell phone. But that does not seem to matter. 

Are broadcast networks CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and Univision resistant to the changing ways consumers can view media? Are they trying to protect a way of doing business that will ultimately go the way of the dinosaurs soon enough? 

If so will there be free ways of watching the airwaves so all Americans have access to emergency information and/or local programs regardless of income or geography? 

Is it about public service, as those who used the broadcast frequencies were told and had to agree to?

That's one way to look at this. 

But in reality, like most things in life, this is about money. 

Profit by those who use the airwaves rather than service and access leads the way in decisions and innovation. The free access broadcast world may come to an end.

FOX threatened to do so. COMCAST (NBCUniversal) has indicated support in principle. Both say we no longer watch over the air anyway. Both say that it is not their responsibility to provide service to those that do not have access and that there are other ways to keep the citizen informed in an emergency. FOX went so far as to say that most people do not want to be informed, but prefer entertainment and escape programing and content on their video services.


Analysis of the Aereo-broadcast feud from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. April 11, 2013

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