Supreme Court is critical of Aereo, concerned about cloud at hearing | NAB's Smith gives a post-NAB Show update on broadcast industry | Broadcasters, tower operators raise questions about FCC's repacking plan
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April 23, 2014
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Supreme Court is critical of Aereo, concerned about cloud at hearing
The Supreme Court, during Tuesday's arguments in broadcast networks' challenge of Aereo, raised questions about Aereo's business model and why it wasn't paying to license its content, while expressing concerns about how the outcome of the case might affect the future of the cloud. "Our guess is that the court will find some way to thread the needle and say that Aereo is inconsistent with the 1976 Copyright Act, or send the case back to the lower courts with some negative ... commentary toward Aereo," said Guggenheim analyst Paul Gallant. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/22), (4/22), (4/22)
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Business & Industry Report
NAB's Smith gives a post-NAB Show update on broadcast industry
Gordon Smith, NAB's president and CEO, discusses the Federal Communications Commission, NAB's response to the FCC's JSA order, the importance of the FM chip in cellphones and more in this post-NAB Show interview. "There's just nothing like having face time with broadcasters, being in their world to hype the understanding and appreciation for what broadcasters do every day to earn their licenses and serve the public," Smith said. (4/22)
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Broadcasters, tower operators raise questions about FCC's repacking plan
Broadcasters and tower and antenna operators are expressing concerns about the Federal Communications Commission's proposed 39-month timetable for repacking stations after the incentive spectrum auction and whether the $1.75 billion budget will be sufficient, according to filings. The 39-month deadline "does not appreciate the myriad of items that fully go into an overhaul of a major UHF transmission facility," according to a filing by Cohen, Dippell & Everist, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm. TVNewsCheck (free registration) (4/22)
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ESPN grabs its first NFL playoff spot
ESPN, for the first time in its 35-year run, has obtained the rights to an NFL playoff game. The cable sports giant, as part of a new long-term pact with the NFL, will be showing one of the league's wild-card games in January. ESPN's airing will also be shown on broadcast stations in the markets of the two teams and streamed to pay-TV customers via the WatchESPN application. The Hollywood Reporter (free content)/The Live Feed blog (4/22)
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Report: Cord-cutting rising, especially among younger viewers
The number of pay-TV cord-cutters in the U.S. last year reached 6.5%, or 7.6 million homes, compared with 4.5% of homes in 2010, Experian Marketing Services is reporting. Also, more than 12% of households with an adult under 35 don't have a pay-TV service. MediaPost Communications/MediaDailyNews (4/21)
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Broadcast Programming
Local TV outlets in Boston lead coverage of marathon
Boston's WBZ-TV, the official broadcaster of the Boston Marathon, led the local coverage of Monday's event, the first since the deadly terrorist attack a year ago. Local stations emphasized participants' determination to "reclaim this day," as WBZ's Lisa Hughes said. However, Fox News made what seemed like an "epic fumble" by re-running footage of last year's bombings at the finish line, Mark Perigard writes. Boston Herald (4/22)
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Related Industry News
AT&T, Chernin to put $500M into streaming services
AT&T, along with partner The Chernin Group, will invest $500 million in a streaming-video venture. Former News Corp. President Peter Chernin is behind AT&T's partner, which will contribute its ownership of the on-demand service Crunchyroll -- and its anime library -- to the venture. The new company did not discuss content but said it would put money behind advertising- and subscription-based on-demand and streaming services. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Company Town blog (4/22)
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Report: DISH wants to launch Internet-TV service this summer
DISH Network is said to be hoping to unveil its Internet-TV service at the end of summer, pending the completion of agreements with programmers. DISH, which has reached a deal with Walt Disney Co. that includes carriage of ABC, reportedly must also sign at least one other of the four biggest broadcast networks, as well as 10 of the most popular cable channels, in order for programmers to agree to participate in the service. Bloomberg (4/23)
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People & Personalities
WIAD's Tommy McFly has become a "prince of D.C. media"
Tommy McFly, the popular morning host of WIAD-FM in Washington, D.C., has become a "prince of D.C. media" who has the potential to become the next Ryan Seacrest, according to this profile by Cathy Alter. The 27-year-old regularly appears on WJLA-TV, does red carpet interviews at the Kennedy Center Honors and lends his celebrity to White House and local charity events. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/18)
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NAB News
Early bird registration ends May 15 for NABEF Executive Development Seminar
Receive an MBA-style education for a fraction of the time and expense through NABEF's Executive Development Seminar. Held July 20-24 in Washington, D.C., professors from top-ranked universities will help participants hone their broadcast management skills and advance their careers. The curriculum meets the specific needs of broadcast managers and executives from stations, groups and networks. For more information and to register, contact Amanda Smith or visit
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Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way."
-- Charles Bukowski,
German-born American writer
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