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Will Broadcaster’s Beat Aereo at its Own Game?

*from, April 25, 2013 (To view original article click here.)

Take Away #1: As broadcasters are busy filing lawsuits against Aereo, they’re also inking Web-streaming deals of their own.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Networks are crazy with rage over Aereo, a startup that streams live broadcast content, but have been inking Web-streaming deals of their own.
  • Late Wednesday, Yahoo (YHOO) announced that it had scored a contract to stream NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” skits exclusively for one year effectively stealing the show from streaming service, Hulu.
  • This is only the latest broadcast show to sign a streaming deal.
  • CBS live-streamed the Super Bowl in February, the second year in a row that the game was available online.

Take Away #2: Broadcasters are finally tapping into a potentially massive market, with more eyeballs and more ads.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • However, they were generally afraid to do it until the Aereo threat loomed, argued Bernstein Research analysts Todd Juenger.
  • “History suggests the networks and distributors can come out on top,” Juenger wrote.
  • Juenger draws parallels between Aereo and TiVo, which set off a similar firestorm in 1999.
  • After TV industry titans filed a barrage of unsuccessful lawsuits against TiVO, cable and satellite providers promptly launched DVR services of their own and ended up overtaking the market.

Take Away #3: The networks may have no choice but to out-“Aereo” Aereo, but it could prove difficult to do.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • One-off deals like the Yahoo-SNL contract may be easy enough to finagle, but it’s extremely difficult to please all sides of the TV industry with a total-package livestream solution.
  • Television is a messy patchwork of players: studios, distributors, stations, networks, and service providers with varied interests and revenue streams.

Take Away #4: The biggest impediment to networks rivaling Aereo, according to Juenger, is that they don’t own and operate most local stations across the country.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Aereo found a way around those issues by setting up thousands of tiny, old-fashioned TV-antennas in its data center.
  • It assigns each customer a unique antenna and, using a server farm as the middleman, it streams TV from those antennas to customers via their Internet connections.

Take Away #5: Broadcasters argue that Aereo should have to pay to retransmit their programming — just like affiliates, cable companies and satellite providers do.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Networks typically charge about $1 per subscriber for some broadcast channels, to a reported $55 for premium content like Disney’s ESPN.
  • Without an antenna-based rival solution, technical issues will likely continue to stymie broadcasters’ Aereo solutions for a while.
  • However, Juenger thinks the players can come together – especially if cable and satellite providers take the lead, since most U.S. TV watchers are ultimately their customers anyway.

*To view original article from click here.

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