SBD/November 18, 2013/Media

MLB, NFL Ask Supreme Court To Block Aereo Streaming Service, Which Threatens TV Rights

MLB and the NFL said that if Internet TV service Aereo "wins its court case, the floodgates will open and the World Series, Super Bowl and probably the regular seasons of pro baseball and football will be moving to ESPN, TNT and other pay outlets," according to John Eggerton of BROADCASTING & CABLE. The leagues stated this message "in an amicus supporting a broadcaster effort to block Aereo's online TV station delivery service." Broadcasters have "been arguing that Aereo threatens its business model, and the sports leagues' brief definitely puts some meat on that bone." MLB and the NFL indicate that they get a $100M cut of the $300M "in compulsory copyright license fees cable ops pay for retransmitting TV station content, as well as indirectly benefitting from the billions in retrans fees broadcasters also collect." The leagues said that both of those models "are threatened by an Aereo win since cable could also use that model to avoid paying broadcasters." The NFL pointed out that Aereo "could theoretically create a Sunday Ticket package for free by delivering a suite of TV stations airing different games in their home markets" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 11/17).
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