Beset by threats to key revenue streams, local TV stations are starting to invest in mobile applications to bring live signals to viewers even though they lack the rights to popular syndicated and network programming. Particularly worrisome to stations is Aereo, which has survived legal challenges to provide a local antenna service via the Internet, a business that threatens the stations' stream of retransmission fees they earn from cable operators. "If Aereo comes to our market, I think we're one step ahead of the game. Viewers are going to come to the local brand," said Patricia McRae, the general manager of KHQ-TV in Spokane, Wash.

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