You might recall last year that CBS joined in a chorus of broadcaster pouting and empty threats in regards to Aereo, proclaiming that they'd pull their network from over the air broadcasts
and move it to cable if they weren't allowed to crush Aereo. It's an empty threat designed primarily to try and get lawmakers to pass laws constricting Aereo, just in case CBS can't stop them in the Supreme Court.
Despite the fact that CBS has been resistant to change of any kind, another threat/promise they've been making for months is that if Aereo wins in the Supreme Court, they'll offer an over the top Internet video service
. CBS CEO Les Moonves has been talking about this seemingly every day, and the Wall Street Journal
this week quotes a source that says CBS has the potential to make it happen quickly:
Mr. Moonves hasn't provided details, but a person familiar with the situation said CBS has the ability to launch a service that would stream its programming over the Web simultaneously with its television broadcasts.
CBS would charge a few dollars a month and show ads, the person said. Such a service would also likely offer on-demand programming. It could include Showtime, the CBS-owned premium cable channel, which would increase the subscription fee, the person said. CBS would use technology company Syncbak, in which it owns a minority stake, to power streaming of local TV stations' signals over the Web, the person said.
It's worth remembering that Moonves is also on record stating that an Aereo win wouldn't technically hurt CBS financially at all
, as they could simply offer such a service directly to users. CBS's threat simply isn't much of a threat, the worst case scenario would be more Internet video options, and a bevy of public airwaves that surely somebody, somewhere could put to good use.