Why A Court Case Could Change The Way You Watch TV

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Updated April 22, 2014: The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments today in the case against media startup Aereo. ABC, CBS, NBC, and other major broadcasters will argue that Aereo should be held to the same standards — and, more importantly, fees — as the rest of the networks. The U.S. Government and representatives from ABC and Aereo will all have the chance to speak before the court today, and the outcome could have serious ramifications. Stay tuned. (The Hollywood Reporter)

If you're a fan of streaming TV services, this is one story you'll want to tune into. There's a new case being brought in front of the Supreme Court that could disrupt Netflix viewing as we know it.

It all seems pretty innocent at first glance — there's a new service called Aereo that lets users live-stream and record broadcast TV over the Internet. Networks ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC aren't too happy about it, so they're taking Aereo to task.

It appears they're worried that if overcharged cable users can watch content on the cheap, they won't be able to afford to bid on programs like the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. It's a bit alarmist, but we can get over it.

Well, experts are predicting that whichever way the verdict swings, big changes could be coming. If Aereo comes out victorious, it could force basic cable networks to become subscription channels, a la HBO and Showtime. On the other hand, if the networks win out, the consequences for all kinds of streaming services could be dicey — and, it could be a lot harder to get away with watching your favorite shows sans Time Warner bills. You can bet we'll be keeping a close watch on this one. (Elle)