Aereo: Five Strikes and Still Swinging

WASHINGTON — If persistence were success, Aereo would be back in business.

Instead, it suffered its fourth loss in the last six weeks when two federal courts in New York rejected its call for emergency action on “injunction” issues as it tries to convince them and the U.S. Copyright Office that it is essentially a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) eligible for a blanket license.

The first strike was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that it delivered a public performance, as do cable and satellite operators, and thus could not deliver TV station signals over the Internet without paying broadcasters. The second strike: When the Copyright Office said it still thinks over-the-top transmissions are not eligible for the blanket license.

Strike three was when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit rejected Aereo’s petition for emergency action, arguing that every day it was unable to operate it was “bleeding it to death,” at least metaphorically.

Strike four came almost immediately after that, when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York also denied its emergency petition.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.