Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 By Paul Toscano, Producer, CNBC.com
| Even if Aereo is ultimately unsuccessful, the unraveling of | the cable bundle is "inevitable," CEO Chet Kanojia told CNBC | on Thursday.
| Cable bundling, considered by many investors to be the holy | grail for cable companies (including CNBC's owner, Comcast), | is the process of selling a wide range of channels to | consumers for one price. This has been criticized by many who | want more choice for consumers and complain about paying for | a number of channels that they do not watch.
| Aereo, which captures free over-the-air television signals | and rebroadcasts them over the Internet to paying customers, | is in the midst of a legal battle with major networks over | the legality of their product.
Well, if your business model is stealing (oops -- I mean "stealing") a product from one party and selling it to another party, I guess that argument make sense. After all, you don't have to comply with programming agreements if you don't have any.
But cable and satellite operators have to comply with retransmission- consent agreements (for broadcast programming) and license agreements (for advertising-supported non-broadcast programming). These agreements inevitably demand carriage on the basic tier (or possibly on an upper tier, subject to a higher license fee).
If Aereo ultimately wins its case in the Supreme Court, and if FOX and CBS actually go through with their threats to go cable-only, does anybody believe that FOX and CBS won't impose the same demands as cable-only channels that they now demand as broadcast networks?