Short-term, there could also be considerations for media buyers if the TV networks take drastic action sooner than later, during the 2014-2015 TV season.
Here’s the rub: If Aereo is declared a legal business by the court, allowing it to retransmit TV station/network signals via individual customer digital “antennas,” without paying for that carriage through its Internet-delivered signals a CBS, ABC, Fox, and/or NBC might convert into “cable” networks.
Right now, a weak TV ad market has meant moderate -- some would say -- slow moving upfront deal-making. It’s hard to know what protections could be asked for -- and what could be given to TV networks in return.
A decision about Aereo looks to happen in the next two weeks -- and everyone might be affected. If the decision goes against TV networks/stations, it isn’t necessarily good news for TV marketers.
Broadcast networks transitioning, in part, or in whole, into cable networks, should be mean sudden lower TV ratings -- and a more difficult task in making up for TV viewership.
That said, this is something marketers have contended with for decades in the form of consistent broadcast erosion -- something that long-time cable TV networks are also witnessing in greater degree.
The industry won’t be changing overnight. But one thing for sure: Next year’s upfront would surely be a different affair -- as well as the next season’s scatter TV market.
No furtive looks over one’s shoulder, then. Eyes will be straight ahead, searching for media plan answers.