In a turnaround that shows the growing power of the internet as a medium for TV watching, online media portal Rabbit TV have revealed that they are prepared to not only match, but beat the fees paid for retransmission of shows from TV broadcasters such as NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX, to then stream on the Web.
FreeCast Inc, who own Rabbit TV have revealed they would offer TV broadcasters the same $5 per-subscriber per-month retransmission fee which is the same as they cable companies pay.
Rabbit TV would then redistribute the networks’ live channels to its own subscribers via the internet. But they also say they will pay more as they plan to offer an agnostic platform for the networks to distribute their content, which will bring in more revenue.
The Rabbit TV service links to and aggregates thousands of freely available streaming titles, and also sells live TV packages such as MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, pay-per-view movies, and more.
The company plan to offer broadcasters a fee, unlike rival Aereo who thought they could get around that hurdle by taking on the broadcasters, and lost. But the case has led to online providers thinking they can become an online cable provider after the court compared Aereo to a cable system. Aereo have already applied to seek compulsory licenses to become a local cable provider.
Speaking for Rabbit TV, CEO William Mobley said, “TV subscriptions declined for the first time ever in 2013, yet in contrast the number of consumers watching video on streaming devices continued to grow by leaps and bounds, 36.5% overall. Meanwhile, the production of television sets is projected somewhere around 220 million in 2014, while mobile device production is expected to reach nearly 10 billion. This trend toward ‘TV Everywhere’ is being driven by wireless consumer devices, and not locally restrictive infrastructures.”
Rabbit say that that premium channels like HBO, ESPN and the four major networks are the next most important puzzle pieces for creating a true online TV experience for billions of device-enabled consumers.