A top executive with the owner of the Fox broadcast network is threatening to convert the network to a subscription channel on cable or satellite TV if Internet after a negative court ruling.
Fox says startup Aereo Inc. continues to "steal" Fox's over-the-air signal and sell it to consumers without paying for rights.
Although anyone with an antenna can pick up a station's signals for free, cable and satellite companies typically pay stations and networks for the right to distribute their programming to subscribers. Industrywide, those retransmission fees add up to billions of dollars every year. Aereo says it's not subject to those fees.
A federal appeals court said Aereo could continue its service despite a legal challenge by broadcasters. Aereo takes broadcast signals for free from the air with thousands of little antennas, recodes them for Internet use and feeds that to subscribers' computers, tablets and smartphones. Plans start at $8 a month, which is much cheaper than a cable package, though the service is mostly limited to broadcast channels.
News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said that not being paid by Aereo jeopardizes the economics of broadcast TV.
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