CBS: ‘We will go cable if Aereo OK’d’

Leslie Moonves CEO of CBS has joined Fox Broadcasting’s threat to take their television network off the air and become a cable channel if courts don’t stop the Internet start-up Aereo from retransmitting shows without permission.

“We’ve spoken to cable operators in New York. We can do it in a few days,” Moonves told the Milken Institute Global Conference in California.

The comments from Moonves follow a similar threat last month from News Copr, parent of the Fox broadcast network. Fox and its affiliate stations would stop broadcasting and serve only pay-TV customers to protect the billions of dollars spent annually on programs, along with advertising revenue and hard- won fees from pay-TV systems, Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey told a convention of TV executives in Las Vegas.

The broadcasters are reacting to a US appeals court ruling on April 1st in New York that allowed Aereo, backed by billionaire Barry Diller, to keep operating. The networks sued Aereo in March 2012, claiming it infringed copyrights by capturing their over-the-air signals with tiny antennas and delivering shows to subscribers on computers and smartphones.

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