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January 10, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from the nation's television broadcasters and decide whether to shut down a new streaming service that sends shows to consumers via the Internet for a monthly fee. Aereo, a Brooklyn-based start-up distributor, uses small antennas to pick up over-the-air TV signals and allows a consumer to store them for later viewing. The company says its service is entirely legal since it uses the signals that a homeowner with an old-fashioned antenna could pick up as well.
January 7, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Aereo, the start-up company that transmits local broadcast television signals via the Internet, said it has raised $34 million in a new round of financing that it will use to expand its service, which is currently available in 10 cities. Among Aereo's new backers is Gordy Crawford, a well-known figure in media circles who retired last year from Capital Research and Management, where he oversaw the firm's entertainment and media investments for decades. Crawford is very close to media mogul Barry Diller, whose company IAC is a key investor in Aereo.
December 13, 2012 | By Meg James
CALM wasn't easy to achieve. CALM Act, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation law, which limits the volume of TV commercials, took effect Thursday. It requires broadcasters to ensure that TV commercials maintain the same volume as the entertainment programming in which they are contained. The legislative effort was begun more than four years ago by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park), who was blasted by blaring ads on TV during a family holiday gathering. “This has been a top consumer complaint for decades,” Eshoo said during a news conference Thursday in Washington.
January 1, 2013 | DAVID LAZARUS
It's New Year's Day, a time for new beginnings. So here are some resolutions I'd like to offer on behalf of some of our friends in the business world. Cable and satellite companies should resolve to throw their lobbying clout behind urging lawmakers to forbid the bundling of channels by broadcasters. As it stands, companies like Disney and Fox can insist that a Time Warner Cable or a DirecTV satellite take most or all of their channels as part of any programming deal, regardless of whether subscribers want them.
March 13, 2014 | By Joe Flint
The Federal Communication Commission's efforts to apply stricter oversight of partnerships between local television stations has created tensions inside the regulatory agency and with broadcasters. On Wednesday, the FCC's Mass Media Bureau issued a public notice saying it would "closely scrutinize" applications from television stations seeking to enter joint sales agreements or local marketing agreements. Such arrangements have become commonplace in the industry. Typically, a strong station partners with a weaker station on ad sales and/or other operations.
October 25, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Are pay-TV distributors DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications looking to create their own version of Aereo -- the start-up that transmits the over-the-air broadcast television signals to consumers via the Internet? That's what a story from Bloomberg suggests. The motivation is simple enough. If the cable and satellite guys can come up with their own way to distribute broadcast signals to consumers without having to pay broadcasters, it could save them a bundle of money in so-called retransmission consent fees.
April 9, 2013 | By Joe Flint
News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey made big headlines Monday for suggesting that Fox could go from a broadcast network to cable channel to make ends meet.  The implication is that consumers would have to pay to watch Bart Simpson or catch some NFL football on Sunday afternoons. But for all intents and purpose, Fox is already a cable channel and has been for a long time. Yes, about 10% to 15% of the country's TV consumers still get Fox via antennas, but everyone else receives its signals from a pay-TV provider such as Time Warner Cable or DirecTV.
September 28, 2012 | By Joe Flint
The Federal Communications Commission has put the wheels in motion to take some airwaves from broadcasters and auction that spectrum for wireless broadband. In a 5-0 vote Friday the FCC issued what is known as a notice of proposed rulemaking, which is a first step toward determining how its airwaves auction will work. Broadcasters are being asked to voluntarily give up some of their spectrum, which will then be auctioned off to wireless companies. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the wireless industry believe that the nation is running out of spectrum for new platforms and mobile devices, particularly in large urban areas.
October 16, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
It is hard to pick one trait that distinguishes Vin Scully from ordinary broadcasters, but we'll go with this one: He knows when to shut up. Scully, working on radio during the playoffs, was at the microphone in the seventh inning of Tuesday's Game 4 of the National League championship series. With one out and the St. Louis Cardinals leading, 4-2, the Dodgers' Nick Punto doubled. The Dodgers had the potential tying run at bat, and Dodger Stadium was rocking. Punto was picked off. This is what Scully said: "Listen to the crowd now. " Dead silence, for a few uncomfortably long moments.
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