Aereo is about to hit the off-switch on its video streaming service.
The media startup, which streamed broadcast television over the web for cheap, has “decided to pause [its] operations temporarily” following a copyright infringement ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Aereo will suspend its service at 11:30 AM EST today, announced Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia in a statement to customers this morning.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was guilty of copyright infringement, handing major broadcast TV networks a victory. Kanojia lambasted the court’s decision, calling it “a massive setback for the American consumer.”
Today, Kanojia wrote, “The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe 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.”
Aereo has vowed to continue the fight, directing concerned consumers to its ProtectMyAntenna.org site. But most industry observers don’t expect Aereo to rise from the ashes given its new, court-sanctioned onus to pay licensing fees.
All Aereo subscribers will receive a refund for their last paid month, said Kanojia.
Here is the full statement from Aereo’s chief executive:
A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology – An Update on Aereo
‘“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” – Charles Kettering, inventor, entrepreneur, innovator & philanthropist
A little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.
On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower Court decision in favor of Aereo, dealing a massive setback to consumers.
As a result of that decision, our case has been returned to the lower Court. We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. You will be able to access your cloud-based antenna and DVR only until 11:30 a.m. ET today. All of our users will be refunded their last paid month. If you have questions about your account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @AereoSupport.
The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe 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.
On behalf of the entire team at Aereo, thank you for the outpouring of support. It has been staggering and we are so grateful for your emails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org – our journey is far from done.