News Corp’s COO Chase Carey told attendees at the National Association of Broadcasters conference today that the company could move Fox programming to a paid cable network if it loses its lawsuit against Aereo.
Aereo is an app that retransmits over the air broadcast signals to mobile devices, meaning you can stream shows from networks like NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. Those networks are free for anyone with a TV antenna, but Aereo charges you $8 per month to view them on smartphones and tablets.
News Corp doesn’t like that, and it’s taking legal action against Aereo. Aereo won the right to continue operations in a federal appeals court ruling last week.
Here’s the full statement from Carey following his comments at the NAB conference, as tweeted by New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter:
News Corporation has a long-standing commitment to the broadcast television business, and to delivering the highest-quality entertainment, sports and news programming to our viewers on a localised basis. We are committed to broadcasting under a business model where programmers receive fair compensation from parties that want to redistribute our product while continuing to make our product available for free to individual consumers that want to access our signal.
We believe that Aereo is pirating our broadcast signal. We will continue to aggressively pursue our rights in the courts, as well as pursue all relevant political avenues, and we believe we will prevail.
“That said, we won’t just sit idle and allow our content to be actively stolen. It is clear that the broadcast business needs a dual revenue stream from both ad and subscription to be viable. We simply cannot provide the type of quality sports, news, and entertainment content that we do from an ad supported only business model. We have no choice but to develop business solutions that ensure we continue to remain in the driver’s seat of our own destiny. One option could be converting the FOX broadcast network to a pay channel, which we would do in collaboration with both our content partners and affiliates.
Keep in mind, this feels more like an empty threat than an actual promise. Aereo only works in New York City for now and still has a tiny number of subscribers.