Advanced Television

Diller: Aereo ‘finished’ if defeated in court

April 3, 2014

By Colin Mann

Barry Diller, the prime backer of Internet TV streaming service Aereo, has said the operation probably would not be able to continue in business were the US Supreme Court to judge in favour of the broadcast networks in the hearing scheduled for April 22nd, but suggested that if successful, it would ramp up its roll-out.

In an interview on Bloomberg Television’s Market Makers, Diller said: “If we lose, we’re finished. It’s very possible that there’s some salvage. But Aereo would probably – as I say, probably, just because I can’t…I can’t see any path forward. It probably would not be able to continue in business.”

At issue in the case is Aereo’s contention that it does not need to pay broadcasters to distribute their signals, but Diller admitted that it could “probably pay retransmission consent dollars, if we could make a deal with broadcasters, we probably could, but the value proposition would go out of the game because Aereo is a low-cost method of receiving over-the-air broadcasting. That’s the platform”

In the event that the Supreme Court finds in favour of Aereo, Diller was bullish. “We compete. We go on to build our business. We expand through the rest of the United States that we’re not currently in. We invest West Coast, but we’re only in — I could get a couple of cities wrong — 14 to 16 cities, 17. And we would be in every urban centre, in any urban city, certainly top 30 to 40 markets.”

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