CBS’s Moonves: “We’ll talk to Aereo”
July 16, 2014
By Colin Mann
Despite CBS being party to the action brought by the US networks against Aereo which saw the Supreme Court rule that the service operated much like a cable TV company and violated copyright law unless it paid broadcasters licensing fees for offering TV stations to customers’ tablets, phones and other devices, CEO Les Moonves has revealed the company is now willing to sit down and negotiate with the Internet TV streaming service.
Interviewed at the Fortune Magazine Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Moonves claimed that Aereo had never approached CBS regarding the prospect of formally licensing content from the broadcaster, and suggested the Supreme Court had correctly judged that Aereo was acting like a cable company.
Noting that Aereo was now saying that it should be recognised as a cable system with respect to its method of transmission and licensed as such, paying appropriate fees, Moonves said that CBS was “open and willing to talk them about it, but I don’t think their business model makes sense, unless they were getting content illegally and for free.”