SBD/November 21, 2013/Media

IAC's Diller Defends Aereo, Calls Out NFL For "Just Making Noise" With TV Threats

Diller doubts the NFL would pull its games from broadcast TV
IAC/InterActiveCorp Chair & Senior Exec Barry Diller, whose company is a financial backer of streaming TV startup Aereo, yesterday said that the NFL is "'just making noise' in its threat to take its games off broadcast TV," according to Liana Baker of REUTERS. Diller, at a Bloomberg conference in Chicago, said that he "doubts the NFL would never pull all of its games and the Super Bowl off free airwaves." Diller: "They are not taking their programming off of broadcast television networks. First of all, they make a fortune." He added that the NFL "has not owned up to being a 'pricy game' that passes along the cost to consumers by asking for billions in fees from broadcasters and media companies" (REUTERS, 11/20).

ROLL WITH THE CHANGES
: In N.Y., Jeffrey Goldfarb wrote broadcasters have "garnered support in their Supreme Court bid to shut down" Aereo despite the fact that their arguments "echo those used 30 years ago when networks tried to block the VCR." Courts so far have "favored Aereo, saying its method of using thousands of separate dime-size antennas to stream free-to-air programming to customers over the Internet doesn’t violate copyright law." Even if broadcasters "manage to stifle one upstart, however, they can’t hope to sue their way past all Internet-driven disruption." Goldfarb: "Today’s media chieftains need not take so long to learn there’s less value in beating ‘em than in joining ‘em" (NYTIMES.com, 11/20).
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