What's Next for Aereo? - Broadcasting & Cable

What's Next for Aereo?

Kanojia says their work isn't done
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The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Aereo was in violation of broadcaster copyright when it streams local television broadcasts to its subscribers over the air, leaving the fate of the company hanging in the balance.

Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia was quick to react to the decision, writing in a blog post that the company was not finished.

“We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done," he said. "We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”

IAC Chairman and Aereo investor Barry Diller, who had opened up about the impending ruling before, told CNBC Wednesday that "We did try, but it's over now."

"It's not a big [financial] loss for us, but I do believe blocking this technology is a big loss for consumers, and beyond that I only salute Chet Kanojia and his band of Aereo'lers for fighting the good fight," Diller added.

The stakeholder's remarks were in line with what he told CNNReliable Sources host Brian Stelter in April, where he said that if the Supremes decided in favor of broadcasters "it will have a profound effect on the development of technology."

Diller went so far as to say that the company would go out of business in the event of such a ruling.

But Kanojia seems to have other plans.

According to B&C Washington bureau chief John Eggerton, Wells Fargo said Aereo has a few options. The company could start to pay broadcasters to stay afloat or since the SCOTUS decision was on an injunction, Aereo could fight the underlying case in the lower courts

The implications of the case also affect similar television channel streaming service FilmOn, an injunction against which in a D.C. federal appeals case was put on hold pending the Aereo decision. FilmOn and the broadcasters will now have 30 days to file motions related to the proceedings.

Kanojia argues that services like Aereo and FilmOn are beneficial to consumers.

In his statement Wedensday he said:

“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a massive setback for the American consumer. We’ve said all along that we worked diligently to create a technology that complies with the law, but today’s decision clearly states that how the technology works does not matter. This sends a chilling message to the technology industry.  It is troubling that the Court states in its decision that, ‘to the extent commercial actors or other interested entities may be concerned with the relationship between the development and use of such technologies and the Copyright Act, they are of course free to seek action from Congress.’ (Majority, page 17) That begs the question: Are we moving towards a permission-based system for technology innovation?

“Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country’s fabric. Using an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful for more than 60 million Americans across the United States.  And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle.”

To read the Supreme Court's decision, click HERE.

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