Networks Might Now Do Deals With Aereo, And Why Not? It's 'Just Business'

From the “just business” department: CBS Corp.’s Les Moonves says he’d now be willing to negotiate a programming deal with Aereo, the upstart Internet-delivered TV service that challenged the big broadcasters and lost in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

All businesses have fierce competitors. You can imagine that network executives in the past have had moments of name-calling and angry remarks behind closed doors about Aereo.

That’s why many might think it wouldn’t make sense for CBS to now want to do business with Aereo.

But the attitude of Moonves and other TV executives shouldn’t surprise anyone. Just look at how the networks handle big, testy carriage disagreements, complete with competing terse statements, against multichannel program distributors like Time Warner, only to come to terms and continue as business partners.

They also compete with themselves. 20th Century Television, for example, produces “Modern Family” and sells the show to ABC -- while its close sister network TV division, Fox Broadcasting Co., competes hardily with the ABC network.

Then of course, CBS, Fox, and ABC gets paid from the likes of Comcast for carriage of their stations and programming -- while Comcast’s NBC competes with those networks.

Now those two examples aren’t like those legal operation issues that came up with Aereo. But they all have to do with the quality of business relationships.

Savvy senior business executives should have the ability to identify the good, the bad, and the ugly. They should be able to look at issues individually and keep emotions at bay. In that regard, Moonves tips his hat, saying Aereo had made a "very good" case to the Supreme Court.

Aereo's legal strategy made it appear that CBS was trying to stop innovation and technology or trying to prevent its content from going online or into the cloud.   "Nothing could be further from the truth,” Moonves added.

For many, all this comes down to the term “frenemy.” Others would say it’s “just business.” Anything is possible. A CBS-Aereo deal could be around the corner.

Tags: tv
Recommend (5) Print RSS
3 comments about "Networks Might Now Do Deals With Aereo, And Why Not? It's 'Just Business' ".
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , July 16, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.
    I wholly agree. It's just money. Aereo can send a cut of the action to CBS (whose affiliates give away their product to *almost* anyone with a single-user antenna, especially if SCOTUS applies the looks-like-cable-thus-must-be-cable" logic. Aereo subscribers might pay a little more, but Moonves needs to justify his $67B salary.
  2. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications , July 17, 2014 at 3:04 a.m.
    Yes by all means cut a deal, the next technology coming down the pike will be a lot harder to beat, such is the nature of technology, just ask Sony...
  3. James Nail from Forrester Research , July 23, 2014 at 3:09 p.m.
    The networks' entire objection to Aereo what they were 'stealing' their programming. Now that they are willing to pay for it, why wouldn't the networks take their money? If a shoplifter walked back into a store to hand a cashier money for the item he just walked out with, wouldn't the cashier take it? The question is whether Aereo can do negotiate some kind of different packaging so their pricing doesn't end up in the same stratospheric heights as cable bundles. But I don't see the networks having any incentive to unbundle for this tiny little startup whose butt they just kicked in court....