The battle over TV-streaming service Aereo is escalating.
At an industry conference in Las Vegas, News Corp‘s (NASDAQ:NWSA) chief operating officer warned that if legal challenges to Aereo fail, the company’s Fox network could switch from broadcast TV to a subscription service. He said that News Corp. would not allow another firm to “steal our signal,” the Associated Press notes.
Unlike cable and satellite TV providers, Aereo does not pay retransmission fees to stream broadcast network programming over its network of antennas. Broadcasters, including Fox, Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) ABC, Comcast‘s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC and CBS (NYSE:CBS) have sued the company, which is the brainchild of media mogul Barry Diller.
However, last week a court deal broadcasters a blow when it rejected a motion to shut Aereo down while the litigation works its way through the courts. The court also appeared to indicate that Aereo might have the law on its side.
The Fox network is transmitted across cable and satellite systems nationwide. But is also has dozens of affiliated broadcast stations across the country. The executive did not outline how News Corp. would handle the network’s affiliate stations in the event it moves to a subscription model.
Shares of News Corp. fell almost 1% in Tuesday morning trading.