Aereo wants to be a cable company after devastating Supreme Court loss
After the Supreme Court more or less shut down Aereo's business as-is, the company now wants to be treated just like Comcast and Time Warner. Aereo recently filed a letter with the U.S. District Court in New York asking to be considered a cable system.
Aereo originally argued that it was not, in fact, a cable provider, instead saying it was just supplying technology and equipment to its customers. That argument was hoping to capitalize on a potential loophole in the rules governing broadcasters. Now, however, Aereo says that the Supreme Court's decision effectively turns it into a cable provider.
"Under the Second Circuit's precedents, Aereo was a provider of technology and equipment...After the Supreme Courts, decision, Aereo is a cable system," the company said in the letter.
If the judge agrees with Aereo's argument, the live TV streaming service would be eligible for a compulsory license. Aereo would then pay broadcasters via the license and be able to deliver live TV broadcasts to its customers.
Aereo's letter, filed jointly with the broadcasters suing the company, is the next step in Aereo's fight to stay alive. If the company fails it could face an injunction prohibiting the company from operating. In late June, Aereo said it would temporarily shut down its service as it consulted with the District Court and tried to figure out its next steps.
The broadcasters don't appear to be too happy with Aereo's new course of action. "It is astonishing for Aereo to contend the Super Court's decision automatically transformed it into a 'cable system'...given its prior statements to this Court and the Supreme Court," the companies said in the joint letter.
It's not clear when the District Court might render a decision on whether or not Aereo could continue as a cable operator. Nevertheless, for Aereo fans there appears to be some hope that the service will return.