Liberty Global mulled Aereo investment, Nair says

Here's something to chew on as Aereo's right to grab and rebroadcast over-the-air transmissions via IP wends its way through the Supreme Court: one of the cable industry's bigger names, John Malone, once considered investing in the maverick firm.

Balan Nair, Liberty Global


Balan Nair, CTO of Malone's Liberty Global, dropped that nugget during an appearance at The Cable Show in Los Angeles, according to Variety. Nair didn't elaborate any further on why Malone didn't follow through.

Another cable icon, Barry Diller, did invest in Aereo, which sells a service that allows subscribers to pay a small fee for a small antenna that captures over-the-air transmissions and converts them to IP for delivery to various connected devices, including TVs. It also includes DVR capabilities to record and playback the live programming.

Broadcasters and federal regulators claim that because Aereo does not pay fees for the content--commonly called retransmission fees and just as commonly paid by cable, satellite and telco pay TV service providers--it's violating the copyrights of the content being captured and retransmitted.

The cable industry, of course, is very interested in the outcome of the case and what it would mean for the retransmission fees operators routinely pay to national and local broadcasters.

For more:
- Variety has this story

On-site coverage: The Cable Show 2014

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