Judge rejects bids to block live-streaming TV service Aereo
Aereo—the service that streams over-the-air local TV to any Mac, iOS device, or PC running Safari for $12 per month—just got a second chance at survival. According to The New York Times, a U.S. federal judge on Wednesday rejected a temporary injunction spurred by television broadcasters, saying a ruling for the broadcasters would have shut down Aereo.
Reuters reported that Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp., News Corp., Univision Communications Inc., and the Public Broadcasting Service tried to stop Aereo with the injunction, claiming they would “lose their right to retransmission fees from cable and other companies that rebroadcast their programming, and also lose critical advertising revenue”:
- U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said on Wednesday that while the broadcasters demonstrated they faced irreparable financial damage if were the venture were allowed to continue, Aereo also showed it would face severe harm if the requested preliminary injunction were granted.
- ‘First and foremost, the evidence establishes that an injunction may quickly mean the end of Aereo as a business,’ the Manhattan judge wrote in a 52-page opinion.
The New York Times quoted Aereo’s Barry Diller, who noted a trial still lies ahead for his company, but he is now “far happier to begin this process with the judge’s ruling.” One of the plaintiffs, CBS, told the publication it would continue to seek damages and a permanent injunction: “This is only a ruling on a preliminary injunction. This case is not over by a long shot.”
9to5Mac reviewed Aereo in March and found its broadcast TV-like experience encouraging and well worth a test-drive:
- Overall, Aereo’s HTML5 user-interface is the most impressive on the Mac platform. Its ease of browsing, watching, and recording local TV through Safari is a unique take during an age that offers countless ways of viewing cable without an actual television. The main takeaway with Aereo is that it works best on the Mac and the iPad, video quality is identical to what one would see on a HDTV, and the DVR function is extremely handy.
- […] For many people, its DVR functionality alone is worth the $12 monthly fee. For others, the admission price might be too hefty when compared to cheaper services that also offer cable programming and better streaming.