Aereo subscribers, you have less than two hours left to binge-watch broadcast television shows. The company is suspending service later this morning following a Wednesday U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found its business model violates copyright law.
Earlier court rulings had been more positive for Aereo, which uses farms of dime-sized antennas to capture over-the-air TV broadcasts and stream them to subscribers over the Internet. But the Supreme Court justices said that Aereo was similar enough to a cable TV company that it needed to pay content owners for their shows. “We conclude that Aereo is not just an equipment supplier,” the ruling said.
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia wrote today, “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.”
You’d think the buck would stop with the Supreme Court, but Kanojia said, “Our journey is far from done.”
Aereo has raised nearly $100 million in funding from IAC/InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller and others.