Streaming TV Service Aereo Survives First Legal Test

By Andrew Gauthier 

Aereo, the streaming TV service backed by Barry Diller, scored a victory in court this week as a federal judge ruled that the company could continue to operate while it fights broadcasters over the use of their programming.

A group of 17 network broadcasters had combined on a motion for a preliminary injunction against Aereo, which allows users to watch and record broadcast channels through their digital devices.  The service launched in the New York City area in March and currently costs $12 per month.

“This isn’t just a win for Aereo, it’s also a significant win for consumers who are demanding more choice and flexibility in the way they watch television,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said in a statement.

“We said from the start that we believed that a full and fair airing of the issues would reveal that Aereo’s groundbreaking technology falls squarely within the law,” Kanojia added.  “Today’s decision should serve as a signal to the public that control and choice are moving back into the hands of the consumer.”

With their motion for an injunction, broadcasters had hoped to quickly snuff out Aereo’s streaming TV service.  This week’s decision means that there will be a long legal battle ahead that will most likely shape the future of TV.

For now, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, and others all said that they would appeal the ruling.

Here’s a video overview of how Aereo works…