Aereo to Halt Service This Morning

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., poses with a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. The Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 ruled that Aereo has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia said in an email to customers that the company’s streaming TV service would be shut down at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Bebeto Matthews/AP

Aereo customers will no longer be able to access the streaming TV service after 11:30 a.m. today.

In an e-mail to subscribers, Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia said the company will “pause (its) operations temporarily.” Kanojia said subscribers will be refunded for their last paid month.

The letter was also published on Aereo’s blog.

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Aereo, which leases digital antennas to subscribers to access and record broadcast television streams, was deemed in violation of US copyright law by the Supreme Court earlier this week. The case is now headed back to lower court to deal with the fallout of the Supreme Court decision. In the e-mail Kanojia said the service is being interrupted so as to allow for coordination with the court, but we’ll see if it’s ever up and running again in some form.

Prior to the Supreme Court decision, Kanojia had said there was no Plan B for Aereo. However, after it was announced, he said the company would fight on. (Analysts and even Aereo investors have said the company is likely toast.) In shutting down the service this morning, Kanojia signaled that he planned to keep fighting. “Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org—our journey is far from done,” he wrote.

Aereo is based in New York, but has a larger office in Boston.

The full e-mail:

“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 support@aereo.com 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.

Yours truly,

Chet Kanojia

Founder & CEO