Cable operators are quietly -- and not so quietly -- hoping over-the-top startup Aereo prevails in its litigation with TV broadcasters because they see it as potentially ending the current retransmission-consent regime.
On Wednesday, Aereo won an initial legal victory after Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a request by broadcasters for an injunction to shut down its Internet-streaming service.
Aereo, whose backers include IAC's Barry Diller, this spring launched a live TV and DVR service in New York City that delivers about two dozen broadcast channels over the Internet to various devices for $12 per month. The startup was promptly sued by major broadcasters for copyright infringement.
Aereo's defense, which Judge Nathan agreed with, relied on a previous decision finding Cablevision Systems' Remote Storage DVR did not violate copyright laws because it provided dedicated disk storage for every subscriber. The Aereo service uses micro-antennas for each individual users mounted in a rooftop array.