They are essentially operating a CATV service so they should be subject to the same regulations when it comes to must carry and retransmission consent. Along with public safety regulations like passing local EAS alerts. With NYC they could get away with just relying on the locals when they were limited to the 5 boroughs, but now since they expanded to the entire market along with adding non OTA channels like Bloomberg, they would have to show specific county alerts. There's also the accessibility act that went into effect last year which requires the broadcast stations and cable and satellite providers in the top 25 markets to carry the SAP feed that now has descriptive audio for the blind. They might be exempt from the PEG rules like satellite.
It also opens up a giant can of worms when it comes to league rights. In some cases station's couldn't grant them streaming rights for all their content even if they wanted to. For example the NFL has an exclusive mobile rights deal with Verizion, which is why Watch ESPN has to blackout Monday Night Football on mobile phones. Not only would Aereo let you bypass this restriction, with location spoofing you won't need Sunday Ticket, just change your location and you can get the game you want anywhere. MLB rules do not allow stations that stream their news online to show MLB highlights on the live stream. Until ESPN made their new deal with MLB, whenever SportsCenter had MLB highlights the video would blur on Watch ESPN. Even ABC's new Watch ABC can't carry everything and has replacement programming during some syndicated shows.
Edited by KyL416, 17 July 2013 - 04:11 PM.