SCOTUS Rules Against Aereo Streaming TV, Handing Comcast a Win

Philly-based company among the opponents to the new service.

“In a decision with implications for the television industry, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Aereo, a start-up streaming service, violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast signals on miniature antennas and delivering them to subscribers for a fee,” the New York Times reports. “The 6-3 decision was a victory for the major television networks, which had argued that Aereo’s business model amounted to a theft of their programming.”

The ruling was also a victory for Comcast, the Philly-based cable giant, which was concerned that Aereo might upend the business model under which cable companies pay to carry Comcast-owned NBC affiliates on their local systems. Comcast had joined a consortium of other media companies in challenging Aereo’s business model.

The Street explains:

CBS , Disney’s ABC, Comcast’s NBC and 21st Century Fox had charged that Aereo was reselling its programming for a fee without paying for it. The broadcasters argued that Aereo should be required to pay each television station in each designated market area, known as a DMA. Aereo’s business plan is predicated on not having to pay those so-called carriage fees. Throughout its many legal battles, Aereo has countered that it’s simply making it easier for consumers to access a service which they already get.

Although Aereo had long promised to offer its service in Philadelphia, that never occurred. It now seems unlikely.

View the full decision here: