Aereo Pauses Service, Says 'Journey Is Far From Done'
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Even after Aereo was dealt a devastating loss in U.S. Supreme Court this week, the feisty streaming TV startup says the battle isn't over yet. But until it figures out a Plan B, its customers will be put on hold.
Aereo sent a message to subscribers alerting them that their service will officially be suspended as of 11 a.m. ET today. In the note, Aereo made a point of saying that its service will be "paused" and that the company is not shutting down.
"We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps," Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia said in the note.
In a “sweeping and definitive” 6-3 decision earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo is illegal. This marked the end of a long legal battle between Aereo and TV broadcast giants (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox among them) which argued that Aereo broke the law by streaming copyrighted content to customers without paying any licensing fees.
New York City-based Aereo has a small army of tiny antennas in 11 U.S. cities that collect TV signals -- just like anyone else can do with an antenna. An Aereo customer essentially leased the use of an antenna and could then access TV content online via a cloud-based DVR for $8 to $12 per month.
The Supreme Court deemed that Aereo had indeed been breaking the 1976 Copyright Act. “We did try, but it’s over now,” IAC chairman and top Aereo investor Barry Diller told CNBC after the ruling was announced.
Meanwhile, Aereo suggests that its customers sign up at ProtectMyAntenna.org to "keep their voices loud" and receive updates. "Our journey is far from done," Kanojia said.