Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that TV streaming service Aereo was in violation of the Copyright Act, leaving the company dead in the water. But even if things had gone differently, paperwork from the US Copyright Office suggests that the startup was already in trouble. Recode reports that Aereo had 77,596 subscribers at the end of the 2013. 27,000 of its users came from the New York City area, while Boston and the Atlanta area hosted 12,000 and 10,000 subscribers, respectively. With established brands like Netflix and Hulu already providing millions of users with premium content, it's small wonder that Aereo had difficulties breaking into the market.
The documents containing the bleak numbers were submitted as part of Aereo's attempts at metamorphosing into a cable provider. Unfortunately for the company, the Copyright Office stated that "internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope of the Section 111 license" for cable companies. Aereo's application has not been rejected outright, however, and may be "accepted provisionally" according to a letter obtained by CNBC, which was later published in full by the National Association of Broadcasters. Given the recent turn of events, it is beginning to look like the startup will not be able to recover from the repercussions of its legal troubles.