Fox threatens to become a payTV cable channel if courts greenlight Aereo, probably doesn't mean it

Quick: what's the difference between a broadcast TV network (Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC) and a cable channel (TBS, TNT, ESPN, etc.)? Oh, only millions and millions of viewers. Nevertheless, Fox's COO Chase Carey is perturbed enough by the mere thought of Aereo getting its way, that he's already claiming that the network will go dark in favor of becoming a cable channel -- if and when OTA network streaming over the internet is completely legalized, that is. Causticism aside, Carey's remarks are certainly indicative of how the networks feel about the potential disruption of their revenue stream, and moreover, showcases just how far we are from living in a world that isn't dominated by the same old processes when it comes to entertainment.

Carey stated: "We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content. This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can't sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal. We will move to a subscription model if that's our only recourse."

Is it possible that Fox would suddenly vanish from over-the-air antennas everywhere, screwing up countless programming agreements with a near-endless amount of partners? Sure... but it's also possible that the ninth circle of Hades will be converted into an NHL arena. We're calling your bluff, Carey.

Update: According to the New York Times, Univision chairman Haim Saban joined the saber rattling, stating that his network is ready to consider all options, including converting to pay-tv.

Update: Aereo provided us with the following statement regarding the matter -- "Aereo has invented a simple, convenient way for consumers to utilize an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television, bringing television access into the modern era for millions of consumers. It's disappointing to hear that Fox believes that consumers should not be permitted to use an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television. Over 50 million Americans today access television via an antenna. When broadcasters asked Congress for a free license to digitally broadcast on the public's airwaves, they did so with the promise that they would broadcast in the public interest and convenience, and that they would remain free-to-air. Having a television antenna is every American's right."

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Fox threatens to become a pay-TV channel if courts greenlight Aereo, probably doesn't mean it