CBS chief Les Moonves'
recent statement that Aereo poses no revenue threat shows that broadcasters aren't entitled to an immediate injunction against the company, Aereo says in new court papers.
Moonves said on
Wednesday that CBS expects to hit its long-term revenue projection, regardless of whether the Supreme Court allows Aereo to continue operating. Aereo now says that Moonves' statement, made during an
earnings call, shows that Aereo's continued operation doesn't pose a risk of “irreparable harm” -- which is one of the factors courts examine when deciding whether to issue injunctions.
On Thursday, Aereo filed a transcript of the earnings call with U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball in Utah, which is one of the locales where Aereo is facing a lawsuit by broadcasters.
Kimball heard arguments on Tuesday about whether to temporarily ban Aereo from operating in six Western states.
Cases against Aereo also are pending in New York and Boston, but those
actions are currently on hold, pending the Supreme Court decision. Aereo has asked for the Utah case also to be stayed, but the broadcasters are pressing that court to issue an immediate order
Kimball held a hearing on that request on Tuesday, but hasn't yet issued a decision.
The Barry Diller-backed Aereo, like the rival startup FilmOn X, allows
people to stream over-the-air TV shows to devices like iPhones and iPads. TV broadcasters are suing both companies in courts throughout the country. The broadcasters say the start-ups infringe
copyright by retransmitting shows without a license.
But Aereo and FilmOn X argue they are legal due to their design. Both say they have installed thousands of small antennas that capture
over-the-air broadcast signals and then stream the programs to users. Aereo and FilmOn X say the streams don't require licenses because they are “private” performances, made on an
Aereo won preliminary courtroom victories in New York and Boston, where judges refused to shutter the service before trial. But broadcasters have prevailed in
California and Washington, D.C., where judges ordered FilmOn X to stop streaming copyrighted programs.
The Supreme Court recently agreed to rule on whether Aereo should be prohibited from
operating. That court is expected to issue a decision in June.