Aereo Suspends Streaming TV Service As It Weighs Next Steps

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Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday in favor of broadcasters, Aereo announced early Saturday that it was pausing its streaming TV service at 11:30 a.m. ET.

“We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to subscribers.

All users will be refunded their last paid month, he wrote.

He urged consumers to “keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org – our journey is far from done.”

The company emphasized that it was not shutting down, but waiting as the case returns to the lower court in New York, although it is unclear what options they have. Networks and stations could try to press the case to trial and pursue damages.

The broadcasters challenged the district court’s decision to decline their motion for an injunction to halt Aereo, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals also sided with the streaming service. The Supreme Court’s decision reversed those lower court rulings.

Here’s Kanojia’s full letter:

A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology – An Update on Aereo

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” –Charles Kettering, inventor, entrepreneur, innovator & philanthropist

A little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in favor of Aereo, dealing a massive setback to consumers.

As a result of that decision, our case has been returned to the lower Court. We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. You will be able to access your cloud-based antenna and DVR only until 11:30 a.m. ET today.

All of our users will be refunded their last paid month. If you have questions about your account, please email support@aereo.com or tweet us @AereoSupport.

The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.

On behalf of the entire team at Aereo, thank you for the outpouring of support. It has been staggering and we are so grateful for your emails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org – our journey is far from done.

Yours truly,

Chet Kanojia

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  1. Jim says:

    I am a user of Aereo and let me explain why. I cut the cord to Directv and there are a few over-the-air shows I like to record and watch later – national and local news, Modern Family, The Simpson’s to name a few. In the bad old days, I would have recorded these to video. With digital broadcasting, the game has changed. There are very few options for Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) – Master Channel DVR+, Simple.TV, and Tablo. I liked Aereo as it only cost $8 per month and allowed be to wait for additional DVR’s to hit the market. The Supremes have forced my hand. I will be purchasing a Tablo DVR and I will pay the extra $150 for a lifetime channel guide. Total cost to me – $360 as I already have a TV antenna and a spare harddrive. This hardware setup will give me the same service I could have purchased from Aeroe of $12 a month and it will pay for itself in 2.5 years. Why there is not more hardware competition for OTA DVR’s is really an interesting question. Clearly there are plenty of folks like me who would welcome more choices. I’m looking at you Silicone Valley.

  2. Sterling Archer says:

    When some says they are renting equipment. And it is clear the over the air television is provided free to the public and always has been. Just because you don’t accept that explanation, does not mean you cut through to the heart of the matter. It means you have your own opinion. This was not a unanimous decision either. It is only a simple matter if you conveniently overlook some sey facts. Aereo provided something that is not found anywhere and why would any consumer not want options? Maybe they are simply law abiding citizens who see an injustice by any consumer that wants to simply see free TV on a mobile device. Why would anyone care if none including the broadcasters don’t want me to have any of these options and there are none on the horizon. What’s really fair here? Some people disagreed with all the lower court rulings but agree to the SCOTUS split decision. I’m glad hat a few of you finally got the verdict you hoped for. Congratulations. You win. We have less choices now.

    • Bill says:

      Whether TV or music or print, it never ceases to amaze me how much theft of content belonging to others is always regarded as “a choice” that should be embraced and a Good Thing because it increases exposure – as if exposure without revenue will keep any business IN business.

      I’d believe the arguments advancing the notion of “choice” a lot more if Aereo were simply willing to pay the same fees as cable companies for redistribution of broadcasters’ signals – but they’re not.

      At that point it becomes nothing but an “I shoplift because the prices are too high, and who am I hurting other than some greedy corporation?” argument.

    • Although Areo offered another choice, it was designed to circumvent existing broadcasting rules pure and simple. Although creative, it was and is a business and was out to make a profit and the lion share of that profit came from consumer wanting to get content that Areo did not have permission to use and NOT on the inventive service they were providing.

  3. Billy says:

    It was stealing content. Pure and simple.

  4. Alexander Wells says:

    Maybe we’ve finally turned the corner on Internet entrepreneurs making fortunes by re-purposing other people’s work.

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