Comcast has argued that the Web TV company distributes its content without permission, which hurts its broadcaster,
But Aereo could help Comcast's pay-TV business, Greenfield said in a note to clients Monday. Pay-TV distributors such as Comcast periodically negotiate retransmission costs with broadcasters, and broadcasters can threaten to "go dark" on Comcast's service.
With Aereo as a legally sanctioned service, Comcast could offer it as an alternative way for customers to get broadcasters' programming. That would give Comcast an advantage in the negotiations, Greenfield said.
"Comcast should be openly rooting for Aereo’s legality," Greenfield wrote, "since the benefit of increased leverage for its cable system business in retransmission consent negotiations far outweighs the risks to the one broadcast network owned by Comcast’s
Aereo, which uses antennas to capture broadcast signals and deliver them to users, first launched last year in New York and is expanding to 22 markets in the coming months.
Owners of broadcast companies including Comcast,
In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York upheld a lower court's ruling that Aereo's service does not infringe on copyrights.
Comcast Chief Executive