Granted, this isn’t exactly a threat, more of an idea about how a network might handle challenges to properties. Aereo uses a system that grabs broadcast signals from free TV and allows users to watch the feed on any computer or other device. Since this service would not be paying the networks for the right to do this, News Corp. has challenged the plan in court. Aereo, however, has recently won a court ruling that allows the company to go ahead with airing network content.
Now it sounds like FOX may have other plans as well. “Aereo is stealing our signal,” Carey said, quoted by Variety. “We believe in our legal rights, we’re going to pursue those legal rights fully and completely… If we can’t have our rights properly protected through legal and political avenues, we will pursue business solutions. One such business solution would be to take the network and turn it into a subscription service.”
FOX could certainly do this, even though it would mean losing the still-significant portion of Americans who don’t get any form of cable service. Assuming the Fox network went this route, the result would most likely mirror News Corp’s existing basic-cable offering, FX.
A statement from Aereo argued against FOX’s position: “Aereo has invented a simple, convenient way for consumers to utilize an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television, bringing television access into the modern era for millions of consumers. It’s disappointing to hear that FOX believes that consumers should not be permitted to use an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television.”