Aereo Halts Service After Supreme Court Loss to Broadcasters

Jun 28, 2014 12:33 pm ET

(Updates alternatives to Aereo in sixth paragraph.)

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Aereo Inc., the Barry Diller-backed digital startup, said it will temporarily shut down its streaming-video service after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that it violates broadcasters’ copyrights.

“We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps,” Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia said today in a blog post.

The hiatus, effective at 11:30 a.m. New York time today, marks the end for now of the $8-a-month solution for cord cutters who used the service to watch live and recorded TV from broadcasters like CBS and ABC.

Kanojia had said Aereo’s work is “far from done” after the ruling. He hasn’t specified how the company would move forward.

“The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public,” he said today. “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.”

Companies such as Roku Inc. offer alternatives to paying for a cable subscription, though require customers to buy hardware that can cost hundreds of dollars and limit users’ ability to watch live broadcast programming. For that, customers must purchase another device from Really Simple Software Inc.’s Simple.TV, which can cost as much as $350.

Other video-streaming services, including those from Netflix Inc. and Hulu LLC, don’t offer the live-programming options that Aereo did.