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Fox official says network may go cable

LAS VEGAS — A top executive with the owner of the Fox broadcast network threatened Monday to convert the network to a subscription channel on cable or satellite TV if Internet start-up Aereo Inc. continues to ‘‘steal’’ Fox’s over-the-air signal and sell it to consumers without paying for rights.

Although anyone with an antenna can pick up a station’s signals for free, cable and satellite companies typically pay stations and networks for the right to distribute their programming to subscribers. ­Aereo says it is not subject to those fees.

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News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey said that not being paid by Aereo ­jeopardizes the economics of broadcast TV.

His remarks came a week after a federal appeals court said Aereo could continue its service.

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