Aereo wants to take on broadcasters in the Supreme Court. In a brief filed today, Aereo urged the court to hear a case brought by broadcasters questioning its legality. "We are unwavering in our belief that Aereo’s technology falls squarely within the law," Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia says in a statement. Since launching last year, Aereo has been seen as a thorn in the side of broadcasters: it offers consumers an option to stream broadcast TV online through a personal stream, something that traditional broadcasters have argued infringes on their content rights. Aereo has been to court several times and in several different markets to address the matter, and it's largely come out the winner so far.
"We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition."
But over the last several months, a group of broadcasters has begun escalating the matter by petitioning the Supreme Court to hear a case against Aereo. According to Deadline, the group includes Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal, CBS, and Univision — among others — and it seems that they're interested in quickly finding out whether Aereo is legal or not, regardless of the conclusion. Stopping the service soon might maintain the status quo, while finding out that Aereo is legal could potentially prompt broadcasters to address it competitively. Aereo similarly appears eager to get these lawsuits over with. "Broadcasters appear determined to keep litigating the same issues against Aereo in every jurisdiction that we enter," Kanojia says. "We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition."
The Supreme Court will still have to agree to hear the case. If it doesn't, Aereo's legal struggles will likely continue just as they have for some time — with intense pressure being put on it by broadcasters from every market that it moves into. With none of the involved parties interested in seeing that happen, the Supreme Court may have good reason to listen.