CBS' Revenue Projections Give Aereo Ammunition In Utah

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 shuttering Aereo.

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 antenna-to-user basis.

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.

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3 comments about "CBS' Revenue Projections Give Aereo Ammunition In Utah".
  1. J S from Ideal Living Media , February 14, 2014 at 5:47 p.m.
    Utah networks have been rebroadcast by a collection of counties for 60 years (offline, of course). No contracts. Doesn't seem to have hurt anyone. Helped, actually.
  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , February 17, 2014 at 10 a.m.
    See Comcast merger.
  3. Paul Robinson from Viridian Development Corporation , February 17, 2014 at 12:48 p.m.
    What Aereo does retail is what Radio Shack does wholesale; sells access to an antenna. Aereo is providing one party a connection to one antenna. It is not a public performance. Only difference is Rat Shack sells the antenna and Aereo leases it. But the user supplies their own space. If I lease space from someone to let me put an antenna on their property and run a connection to the antenna, am I or the landowner operating a public antenna?