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DirecTV, Time Warner consider Aereo-like service, report says

The TV providers are thinking about bypassing broadcasters' fees by capturing free over-the-air TV signals and streaming them online.

Aereo's Android app. Aereo

TV providers DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications are thinking about capturing free broadcast signals and streaming TV shows over the Internet to get around paying networks, Bloomberg reported Friday.

The new approach would mimic Aereo, an online TV providerat the center of a huge legal battle with the nation's top broadcast networks (including CBS, CNET's parent company). Aereo uses tiny antennas to allow consumers to stream live and local broadcasts over the Internet and store shows in the cloud.

Aereo has been fairly successful in the courtroom so far. If it wins in the end, it could mean TV providers can use the same practice to avoid paying retransmission fees, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. One source goes so far to say that Time Warner Cable, which has been at odds with CBS over fees, has considered buying Aereo.