Aereo executives are continuing their Remake Tour—a.k.a., their effort to do a U-turn after the Supreme Court threw a big roadblock in the company’s way.
Before it was smacked down by the court, Aereo founder Chet Kanojia insisted his service was not comparable to a multichannel video programming distributor and did not have to pay a copyright fee. “I’m not technologically [an MVPD],” he said. “I’m not one by the statutory definition. I’m not considered one by the FCC.”
But Aereo is now asking the FCC to classify it as an MVPD, copyright fees and all.
If the FCC does conclude that linear over-thetop providers are MVPD’s, Aereo could have a path to media citizenship, as it were. But that model would need to include compensating broadcasters in retrans negotiations just like cable and satellite operators do.
The Aereo execs that paid calls on FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, including Kanojia, suggested they would be OK with paying retrans. If so, then Aereo’s money is just as green as anyone else’s.