CBS Joins Fox in Considering Going ‘Cable’

by Christopher Freeburn | April 10, 2013 10:28 am

cbs logo[1]A threat to switch News Corp.‘s (NASDAQ:NWSA[2]) Fox broadcast network to a subscription service[3] is being echoed by CBS (NYSE:CBS[4]).

On Tuesday, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said he “wholehearted supported” Fox’s warning. Moonves added that CBS had begun preliminary discussions with cable service providers about ending broadcast transmission from its affiliated stations in the region serviced by wireless streaming service Aereo, the New York Times noted.

Aereo, which transmits broadcast TV streams to subscribers through a network of antennas has drawn the ire of broadcasters since it does not pay the hefty re-transmission fees paid by cable and satellite TV providers.

Broadcasters, including FOX, CBS, Disney’s (NYSE:DIS[5]) ABC and Comcast‘s (NASDAQ:CMCSA[6]) NBC are suing Aereo, which is backed by media mogul Barry Diller[7].

After a court quashed a recent motion to shutter Aereo’s service during the litigation, a News Corp. executive warned that the company could end broadcast service[8] in order to prevent Aereo from stealing its programming.

On Tuesday, Fox said that it had spoken with its affiliate stations about the move and that they had expressed support for the plan[9], the Associated Press noted. However, the head of the National Association of Broadcasters said that he doubted that the networks would actually cease broadcasting over the air due to regulatory pressure.

Shares of News Corp. dipped in Wednesday morning trading, while CBS rose fractionally.

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  7. backed by media mogul Barry Diller:
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  9. that they had expressed support for the plan:

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