It remains unclear if Aereo will pose a threat to broadcasters or the cable industry. The company has declined to say how many subscribers it has, but estimates are only a few thousand in the New York area, with plans to launch in more than 20 additional cities soon.
Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research said the TV landscape is shifting with Aereo and other kinds of streaming services, and broadcasters need to face the challenge.
“As long as Aereo exists for consumers, it significantly changes the leverage imbalance that has dominated [retransmission] negotiations,” he said. “The more markets Aereo expands to, the greater the retrans leverage shifts.”
Greenfield said broadcasters “need to accept Aereo’s legality and figure out how to deal with the implications to their business.”