Some Small Broadcasters Back Aereo

A handful of owners of small and independent TV stations, mostly low power stations, including Block Brodcasting, Cocola Broadcasting, and Soul of the South, have filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of Aereo.

Those are stations that almost certainly wouldn't be demanding retrans payments from Aereo even if it were paying them, but do like the idea of the additional reach and profile Aereo's online service gives them.

"[M]any small and independent broadcasters (SIBs) depend heavily on such user-friendly viewing technologies to reach their audiences, especially audiences that cannot afford home viewing equipment, cable, or satellite television, audiences who only watch broadcast content via mobile networks or the Internet, or audiences who may not be technologically sophisticated enough to set up their own antenna, digital receiver, or digital video recorder, and configure their own mobile devices," they tell the court.

The broadcasters called Aereo an opportunity, rather than a threat.

"Affirming that this technology does not violate copyright law will allow audiences, especially diverse audiences, to receive the content they desire in the manner in which they desire, while also empowering SIBs (small independent broadcasters) to meet those demands,” they wrote.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.