Meet the streaming TV company that the networks are trying to crush

Aereo uses thousands of tiny antennas to scoop up free television signals and stream them to paying subscribers

Topics: aereo, cloud computing, innovation, broadcast networks, Copyright, Supreme Court, ,

Meet the streaming TV company that the networks are trying to crush (Credit: artjazz via Shutterstock)

The CEO of Aereo, an Internet streaming service that uses thousands of tiny antennae to pick up local broadcast stations, spoke yesterday to Bloomberg about its upcoming Supreme Court battle (April 22, 2014). When asked if the company has a fallback plan, should Aereo lose, CEO Chet Kanojia said it was all or nothing. “There’s no Plan B. We do believe it’s the right thing,” Kanojia said. “Progress is important. The mission of this company was to try to create a new platform, try to wedge the system open a bit.”

The company is being sued by a group of broadcast networks for violating the Copyright Act, and on March 4 the Obama administration submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the broadcasters. A joint filing by the Justice Department and U.S. Copyright Offices said Aereo was “clearly infringing” on the copyright laws.

Aereo says that its cloud-based media service is perfectly legal: The tiny antennae are akin to a person setting up an antenna outside of his or her house to get local news. Thus far most lower courts have sided with the Internet start-up, and now the case is headed to the Supreme Court.

And while a negative ruling would destroy the company backed by billionaire Barry Diller, its implications may be further reaching. Aereo and its allies are arguing, according to CNN Money, that this ruling could impact the newly emerging cloud-based media industry.

Aereo’s CEO said he was impressed by how seamlessly the company came together to achieve its goals, saying, “This is exactly what we set out to do.” Kanojia said that he expected legal controversy, but was surprised by how the implications of this ruling could affect the future of cloud-based industries.

As technology expands, more people are choosing to watch TV via Internet streaming. All players in the computing, Internet, cable and entertainment spheres are attempting to evolve. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are the leaders in paid streaming subscriptions. And other attempts — some legal, some not — are being made. PopcornTime, a platform that uses torrents to illegally download copyrighted movies, recently appeared on the scene. Apple and Comcast also are currently working out a deal to change the future of television.

h/t The Hill, CNN Money

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...