CBS CEO Les Moonves is the latest TV exec to publicly entertain the idea of halting free broadcast TV if streaming provider Aereo is allowed to continue its service. Responding to a question about News Corp. COO Chase Carey’s threats to make Fox cable-only, Moonves told The New York Times that he "wholeheartedly supported what Chase said." He explained that CBS was in preliminary talks with cable operators in the New York - Connecticut area (currently the only area in which Aereo operates) about what the switch would take, emphasizing his reluctance to take such a drastic approach. "Frankly, we don’t think it will get to that point," he explained.
Broadcasters have been upping the rhetoric since Aereo's legal victory
Aereo’s business, which lets subscribers pay for an individual physical antenna that captures broadcast TV signals for streaming over the internet, stands to upend the TV industry, and broadcasters have been upping the rhetoric since Aereo’s legal victory earlier this month. An appeals court ruled that Aereo’s system doesn’t infringe on broadcasters’ copyrights, prompting Fox’s Carey and Univisiion chairman Haim Saiban to threaten taking their networks off the airwaves. While the option would be a logistical and legal nightmare for networks, chances are good we’ll see similar tough talk from the TV industry in the weeks and months ahead.