CBS and FOX have threatened to stop broadcasting over the air (and distribute via cable only) if the courts side with Aereo in a lawsuit against CBS. Aereo’s suit is meant to prevent CBS from suing Aereo in every market where Aereo wishes to operate.

Okay then. Quit broadcasting. Let us use that spectrum for mobile data.

It is crazy to me that CBS and FOX are threatening to stop broadcasting when the FCC is actively trying to buy back broadcast spectrum specifically for mobile data use and when people are moving to cut the cord. Their business model is about to take a dirt nap and instead of innovating1 they’re litigating and threatening to push it into the grave.

Perhaps even crazier, CBS CEO Les Moonves makes a disturbing comment about his strategy to deal with Aereo:

We will go after them in the courts and if that doesn’t work there are other remedies. There are financial remedies; there are congressional remedies.

Everybody knows you can make some campaign contributions and buy votes and legislation. It’s not often, though, that you see the head of a company blatantly threatening to pursue this course of action, one that’s widely considered abusing the system.

  1. Broadcasters should be developing ways to get their content into the hands of consumers over the internet, seamlessly and conveniently. Netflix seems to understand the importance of this strategy. [return]