Aereo suspends operations after adverse ruling, rivals step up

Aereo today suspended operations after an adverse ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier in the week. Chet Kanojia, Aereo's founder and chief executive, wrote to subscribers to say that as a result of the Court's 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.” (Read the letter here, and read  more about the Court decision here.)

He continued, “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.”

However, The Wall Street Journal provides a quote from Aereo backer Barry Diller, CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp., suggesting that the game might be over for Aereo. After the ruling, Diller stated, “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.”

The Journal reports that Aereo may sell its technology to the existing television industry, “…which has been trying to roll out online streaming of its content to mobile devices on its own terms.”

In addition, as the New York Times reports, Aereo rivals are stepping up with streaming over-the-air TV offerings that they expect will pass legal muster. Simple.TV, Roku, Sling Media, TiVo, and Mohu all, according to the Times, sell hardware that allows viewers to stream television to digital devices or watch web video on television sets.

The Times quotes Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, as saying, “We are not against people moving forward and offering our content online and all sorts of places, as long as it is appropriately licensed. Innovation is still alive and well and thriving.”

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