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Supreme Court decsion may effect Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by eboydog, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Well I understand that it won't happen, but it's what I think should happen.
     
  2. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    There are so many more important things that should be imposed on business before making Netflix downloads less expensive for movie-watchers.
     
  3. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    If the court rules in favor of Aereo, then the cable companies can change their infrastructure to mirror what Aereo is doing and cease all retransmission fee payments. It seems that retransmission fee payments represent approximately 10% of the revenue of a local TV station. This would have some impact on the TV stations, but they could just raise their local advertising rates and the same goes for the networks. There would be some justification for raising the advertising rates, because of the increased viewership from Aereo.

    The obvious intent of the law is for the people to be able to watch OTA without paying for the content. The retransmission fee is a perversion that requires people to pay a fee for the content that is supposed to be free.

    The supreme court should rule in favor of Aereo, because Aereo is clearly selling an antenna service, a dvr service and a cloud storage service. They aren't selling the content. The local TV stations can adjust their fees to make up for the loss of retransmission fee revenue.
     
  4. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Yes

    :D
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    I still have analog cable and don't have to use any cable company provided equipment, so for me satellite is not a burger.

    And if I want a burger (cable), my choices are TWC, TWC, or TWC.
     
  6. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I couldn't find any current info about the profit margins for local television stations, but Derek Baine, a senior analyst at SNL Kagan, said a good year for a broadcast network is a 10 percent profit margin, and I bet most local television stations have thinner margins than the big networks - especially the local television stations in generally under-served areas, i.e., those areas likely to be harmed most by failure of significant numbers of local channels.

    That's not true. Television advertising pricing is not infinitely elastic, as you suggest.

    The obvious intent of what law?

    The law is what sets forth the basis for retransmission fees. These two sentences combine to make me question whether you know enough about this topic to comment on it.
     
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    That may not be the case much longer.

    It still is, even if you don't like it.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Why? It allows people to receive the "over the airwaves that belong to the public" broadcasts which they are legally entitled to receive, just with the antenna a little farther from the house.

    (and Aereo subscribers, just like people with rabbit ears, can't be lured away from the broadcast offerings by whatever's on HBO or TNT or whatever, they're locked in to just the local broadcasts.)

    If broadcasters cannot survive just on ad revenue, perhaps they should surrender their licenses and let local governments run the stations as local events billboards with lots of PSAs and the occasional emergency announcement as necessary.

    If broadcasters cannot survive just on ad revenue, maybe their programming which they think is so popular that they can increase the fees they get from cable subscribers by threatening to withhold it isn't as popular after all.

    If broadcasters cannot survive just on ad revenue, no one is obligated to help them stay in business.
     
  9. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I'm afraid not...the broadcasters have turned to retransmission consent fees to help slow the LOSS of revenue from traditional advertising. Advertisers don't spend as much money on broadcast commercials as they used to, diverting those dollars to cable and internet advertising. I have personal knowledge of at least one major network's ad rates and they have, on average, not kept up with the rate of inflation being nearly flat for the past 5 years. Many broadcasters in smaller markets (and some larger ones too) are still in debt from the cost of digital conversion and upgrades for HD. Broadcasting is not the money making machine that some seem to think it is.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    SOMETHING WHICH IS NOT CABLE IS NOT CABLE!!!

    and my cable choice is TWC or no cable.
     
  11. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Because the signal is retransmitted. If Aereo simply strung a wire from their antennas to the subscribers' homes, then you'd be correct; there would be no problem.

    Most people would prefer to foster broadcast OTA service as it is today, even with the retransmission fees and other means of raising revenue to pay operating costs - anything to avoid it becoming an encumbrance on the public taxpayer.

    And if Aereo cannot survive if subject to retransmission fees, then no one is obligated to help Aereo to stay in business either.

    Stop shouting. Read the law. Learn what "multi-channel video programming distributor" means. Shouting isn't going to suddenly make the realities you don't like go away.
     
  12. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    And involving a 3rd party (Aereo) that is neither the viewing public, nor the broadcaster, and who is making money by delivering the content without permission.

    That's why...and that is my opinion, just as your contrary position is your opinion. We look at the same facts and come to different conclusions. Which is why this case is in front of the Supreme Court.

    Except for whatever they have available on their Roku, Apple TV, XBox, Playstation, etc. No one is "locked into" anything.

    Be careful what you wish for...if Aereo prevails in court, you may indeed see hundreds of TV stations surrender their licenses. Of course, it is VERY unlikely that the government would take them over...they would just go dark.

    If broadcast TV were not so popular, Aereo wouldn't be able to make a business out of delivering it to people.

    Obligated? No. But like it or not, the federal government has been propping up and protecting broadcast TV for decades, and this case is not going to change that. Congress sees broadcast TV as a leveling device...it ensures that viewers in the smallest town in America has access to same information and entertainment content as a viewer in the largest metropolis. Not mention that it is also the best way for them to get political advertising to the voter.
     
  13. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    What is more likely is simply substantially more and more time will be turned over to shop-at-home services.

    It does seem that every bit of logic that people post to support Aereo's position post can be just as readily use to discredit Aereo's position.
     
  14. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    So, retransmission fees are (claimed to be) necessary to keep TV stations in business. Thus in effect people who have cable or satellite services are paying so people who only have antennas can see broadcast network programming (from CBS, NBC, etc), which is the major benefit, plus have the benefit of local news, emergency announcements (and political ads :rolleyes:).

    It has been stated that congress wants it that way, and that must be true (or it wouldn't be that way). It has also been stated that this is popular with the public. I question that. Given the penetration of cable and satellite in the TV market, I wonder what a poll would show if you included in the question the fact that cable and satellite subscribers are paying several dollars a month in retransmission fees. But never mind, Congress makes the laws and they sometimes ignore popular opinion, for both valid (e.g., constitutional) and invalid (e.g., rewarding special interest contributors) reasons.
     
  15. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Yes...different people look at the same information and draw different conclusions - the very definition of why this case ended up in court.
     
  16. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I doubt very many people ever give copyright law, retransmission consent fees or how much broadcast locals add to their cable bill a moment's thought. The amount that retrans fees add to your cable or satellite bill is pretty small...from under a dollar in some small markets to a few dollars in really large markets. In as much as one cable channel (I'm looking at you ESPN) costs more than all the locals combined, I also doubt many people would look to their locals as a way to economize.

    Picking up on a comment made earlier in the thread...

    As long as we're talking about how broadcasters should be able to live without retrans fees, I question whether or not paying retrans fees would cripple Aereo. While the cable companies hate the concept of Aereo (since it encourages more cord-cutting) the broadcasters don't mind, as long as they get paid and Aereo doesn't eliminate retrans fees completely. So, if Aereo were required to pay the same rates cable providers do, the monthly fee would rise from $8 to perhaps $10. Is that going to destroy their viability in the market? I doubt it.
     
  17. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    If cable were allowed carry the network programming directly, bypassing the locals, I suspect they would jump at the chance to do so. It would certainly be cheaper for them to take one national feed than all those locals. But would that be in line with Congress' view of "public interest"? Probably not. Would it be in line with the public's view of their own interest? Perhaps if it brought their cable bill down, but there is no guarantee it would do that. Since congress can't hold spectrum licenses over the head of cable to force local coverage, how you or I get notice of an approaching Tsunami or Tornado in that world without Local Broadcast TV?

    As with most messes, it got this way organically. Something better will need to come along before it is likely to change.
     
  18. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    If that's true, I don't see how it could be true that:
    (Quoted from bicker's post #191)
    Here is an interesting recent article from the Milwaukee Business Journal:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/blog/2014/02/time-warner-cable-adds-225-to-bill.html?page=all
    Note the retrans cost mentioned is $2.25 and Milwaukee is a relatively small market, and TWC stated this is only a portion of the total retrans fees.

    Interesting quote from this:
    I don't see any perspective in which this can be seen as anything other than far outpacing any related statistic such as subscriber counts or revenues.

    But (since they are hostile to Aereo) wouldn't the broadcasters hold them up for much higher fees just to kill them?
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    The law is clear in what it says. The problem is that the conclusion that the law comes to is completely insane, because the law itself is completely insane in the first place. Because the technical distinction of one antenna vs. many has no practical implication, it makes the actual meaning of the law hard to stomach, but it is what it is. And it does say that what Aereo is doing is completely legal.

    Well, it's true. The administration's position is awful on this. I'm less and less enthusiastic about the Obama administration as time goes on. He's not a real liberal.

    I understand what it says. Anyone who puts ANY thought whatsoever into it will realize that the law, as written, makes no sense. You have to look at the background of where this crazy differentiation between antennas comes from, and realizing that the law makes no sense in the first place explains why the end result (a warehouse of tiny antennas) ends up becoming some sort of bizarre satire on how nuts the law is in the first place.
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    That makes no sense.

    Aereo subscribers are people who don't want to, or don't want to pay to, get TV from cable or satellite (except for getting some of it over cable modem internet), but for whatever reason have a problem with receiving OTA via an antenna at their viewing location--they're in an RF "shadow", they're too near large reflecting structures that create unsurmountable multi-path problems, they're in structures other than stand alone houses which means they can't put up an outside antenna-they just don't want to hassle with putting up an outside antenna, whatever.

    These are viewers the broadcasters would not have if not for Aereo.

    They aren't time-shifting or commercial avoiding any more than people with antennas who have DVRs in their houses, but broadcasters don't seem to be in a hurry to get rid of viewers who pluck their signal out of the air with all the receiving equipment in that one location (if they are, then they no longer need an FCC broadcast license).

    If the court rules in Aereo's favor, they'll be saying that Aereo is different from cable when it comes to "re-transmission", or that the legal definition of "re-transmission" is such that it applies to cable but not Aereo, so a ruling in Aereo's favor will not result in cable being able to get out of paying re-transmission fees to the broadcasters.

    In other words, a ruling in Aereo's favor does nothing to reduce the amount of money the broadcasters are currently getting, it just keeps them from getting even more.

    Of course if the court rules against Aereo and the retrans fees are such that it destroys Aereo's business model, then the broadcasters will have just thrown away viewers, so they should be careful for what they wish.

    Remember, Aereo takes the signal out of the air at no additional operating cost to the broadcaster who has to put it there anyway.
     

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