News Corp. COO Chase Carey says that FOX may convert the broadcast network to a subscription channel if Aereo continues 'stealing' its content without paying for rights.
A top executive at News Corp. said he's considering to convert FOX to a pay-TV channel on cable or satellite if Aereo survives. At a conference of the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas, Chase Carey, the President and COO of the international media conglomerate, made the suggestion as a legal dispute with the Internet startup continues.
"We won't just sit idle and allow our content to be actively stolen. We have no choice but to develop business solutions that ensure we continue to remain in the driver's seat of our own destiny," Carey stated. "If we can't do a fair deal, we could take the whole network to a subscription model."
The same solution has apparently come into the mind of Univision Communications Inc's execs. Univision Chairman Haim Saban said, "We too are considering all of our options-including converting to pay TV."
The suggestion by FOX's and NBCUniversal's execs came a week after a federal appeals court said Aereo could continue its service. Major broadcasters, including CBS, NBCUniversal, ABC and FOX filed a lawsuit against Aereo in March 2012 for copyright infringement since it offers the networks' content without paying for the right to distribute the programs.
Launched in February last year, Aereo allows subscribers to view live broadcast content and to record it for later viewing by using an individual remote antenna. In a statement to respond to Carey's statement, Aereo said, "Aereo has invented a simple, convenient way for consumers to utilize an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television, bringing television access into the modern era for millions of consumers."
"Over 50 million Americans today access television via an antenna," it added. "It's disappointing to hear that Fox believes that consumers should not be permitted to use an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television."