ORLANDO, Fla., July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Leading online entertainment media guide Rabbit TV today announced that it is prepared to pay NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX the same $5 monthly per-subscriber retransmission fee paid by cable companies in the current #1 demographical market, New York City, across all 210 DMA markets nationwide.
FreeCast Inc., Rabbit TV’s operating company, aspires to redistribute the networks’ live channels directly to its millions of paid subscribers on the web. The company also states that it’s prepared to provide an agnostic platform for the networks to distribute their content, which will also bring more revenue to their existing ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) libraries and pay per view selections.
Rabbit TV’s user-base, comprised mostly of consumers who no longer subscribe to traditional cable, would also provide these major networks with a unique strategy for reaching a virtually inaccessible demographic, the rapidly departing ‘cord cutter’ audience.
The company’s announcement comes after a recent Supreme Court ruling on Aereo’s cloud-based OTA television service, which inadvertently opened new doors for web-based television services by comparing Aereo to a cable system. This new interpretation led Aereo to seek compulsory licenses to become a local cable provider, and despite their reported subscriber-base of less than 100,000, CBS’s president Les Moonves publicly expressed his willingness to enter talks with the company.
Rabbit TV’s CEO William Mobley argues that it’s short-sighted to limit consumers with Aereo’s local antenna technology when the demand is nationwide and possibly even global in the very near term:
“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,” says Mobley.
Mobley is no stranger to the streaming video industry, having served over 800,000 paid point-to-point video streams per day with his wildly popular MegaChannels in 1999, a feat only matched by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a few others some 15 years later.
Rabbit TV’s service already aggregates and links thousands of freely available titles and sells its users a la carte live programming packages like MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, and numerous others along with pay per view movies. The company asserts 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.