The Aereo saga is over. Long after the company's crushing Supreme Court defeat and the sale of its assets to TiVo, Aereo has agreed to pay broadcasters $950,000 over copyright claims, bringing a permanent end to their legal war. According to Bloomberg, that money will be directed to ABC and other broadcasters that quickly sued Aereo after the March 2012 launch of its ambitious cloud TV service. Aereo streamed live, over-the-air channels to its customers for a low monthly fee — without the blessing of major networks like NBC, FOX, CBS, and Disney's ABC. A federal bankruptcy court must approve the $950,000 payment before the deal is finalized.
In the months since Aereo's demise, some big companies have put a new focus on delivering TV to consumers over the internet without any need for a traditional cable package. Dish launched its Sling Television service at the beginning of this year, and Sony recently followed that with the debut of PlayStation Vue, which streams over 50 channels to subscribers in a few launch markets. HBO has rolled out its stand-alone subscription service, HBO Now, and Apple is said to be working on its own Sling-like internet TV offering.
Aereo is long gone, but internet TV is going strong
Of course, these products all have the necessary licensing rights in place with broadcasters, who've warmed up to the idea of sending their linear, live programming to customers over the web. Aereo gets credit for pushing the internet TV movement forward, but the company's rebellious (and legally flawed) strategy sent it to a quick end. Within the last couple days, TiVo has started emailing Aereo's old customers with promotional deals for its latest Roamio DVRs. (TiVo picked up Aereo's subscriber list among other assets it purchased during bankruptcy proceedings.)
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