That didn’t take long. Now that the US Supreme Court has ruled that Aereo’s antenna-to-cloud TV service is violating copyright, the company is telling customers that it will “pause” service as of 11:30AM Eastern; after that, it’s lights-out for both live and recorded streaming. As compensation, Aereo is refunding subscribers’ last paid month of service. The startup is adamant that the shutdown is temporary, and is talking to the lower court that previously ruled in its favor about the “next steps.”
If the streaming television company does manage to return from the dead, it won’t look anything like it does now. Chet Kanojia, CEO of the streaming television service Aereo, told his customers the bad news in an email Saturday morning: After the Supreme Court decided this week his company’s business methods violate copyright law, Aereo has decided to shut down. Kanojia insists that Aereo’s pressing “pause,” not “off,” but it’s unlikely the service will return in any recognizable form. That Aereo is unlikely to come back from the grave is a simple matter of math. The Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, which streamed broadcast television to subscribers for about $8/month, was operating illegally because it didn’t pay so-called retransmission fees to broadcasters–something cable and satellite companies are required by law to do.