Aereo to suspend streaming TV service today, says fight will go on

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia says the fight will go on.
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia says the fight will go on.
(Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

Aereo, the start-up video service that the Supreme Court ruled is illegal earlier this week, has told its customers it is temporarily suspending operations.

In a letter to subscribers, Aereo Founder and Chief Executive Chet Kanojia, said access to the service would stop Saturday (June 28) at 11:30 a.m. ET.

However, Kanojia indicated the company wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. “The company is not shutting down,” a representative said, adding, “our journey is far from done.”

Launched in 2012 and available in 11 markets including New York City and Boston, Aereo streams the signals of local broadcast television stations over the Internet to consumers via remote antennas. It charges between $8 and $12 a month for its service, which includes a cloud-based digital video recorder.

Broadcasters led by CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC charged that Aereo’s service violated the Copyright Act and was rebroadcasting their signals illegally. The Second Circuit for the State of New York found in favor of Aereo, but the Supreme Court reversed that decision in a 6-3 ruling. The case will now go back to the judges in New York who are likely to order Aereo to stop transmitting signals.


Kanojia, who called the ruling a “massive setback” for consumers and sends a “chilling message” to the technology industry, told subscribers, “We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map our next steps.”

Aereo, which has 115 employees, has never disclosed the number of customers it had signed up for its service. Its backers include media mogul Barry Diller.

Read the full text of the note Aereo sent to subscribers.

Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.