Executives linked with Fox, CBS and Univision have suggested the networks could move to pay-TV distribution should Aereo be allowed to operate without paying retransmission consent fees. Pressed on
the matter this week, Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis held back on whether NBC would consider a similar route.
“I don’t want to talk about how business models may change,”
he said at an investor event. “I leave that to folks who want to be more vocal about it.”
Aereo streams live broadcast stations online, making them available on smartphones and
tablets. Networks have accused it of stealing their signals with the potential to deprive them of considerable carriage fees and ad dollars.
Litigation is ongoing, though Aereo has won two
Despite his suggestion that CBS could go the pay-TV route, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has been a staunch advocate that top-tier content will always find a successful model. Angelakis
“However models change, great content will ultimately get monetized … hopefully we’ll prevail within these lawsuits and we won’t have to deal with some of
these issues," he says.
Comcast along with the other network owners is also suing Dish, charging its AutoHop service that automatically removes commercials is illegal.