Aereo, the company that's streaming live, broadcast television to the web in the greater New York area, won another court battle today in its ongoing struggle against cable networks.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District upheld the District Court's previous decision in favor of Aereo, rejecting a request from 17 broadcast companies to prevent Aereo from doing its thing.
That "thing" will soon involve streaming pay-TV over the internet across the rest of the country, if Aereo continues to pursue its plans to expand this year.
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To that end, Aereo is reportedly engaged in ongoing partnership discussions with companies including AT&T, Dish Network and DirecTV, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The battle is won
In its decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals stated that the plaintiffs in the appeal, which include several major network broadcasters, probably don't have a case.
The court said that the plaintiffs "have not demonstrated that they are likely to prevail" in their claim that Aereo's over-the-web streaming of broadcast TV violates their copyrights.
"Today's decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals again validates that Aereo's technology falls squarely within the law and that's a great thing for consumers who want more choice and flexibility in how, when and where they can watch television," Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia said in a press release.
"Today's ruling to uphold Judge Nathan's decision sends a powerful message that consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful in this country and that the promise and commitment made by the broadcasters to program in the public interest in exchange for the public's spectrum, remains an important part of our American fabric," he continued.
But the war…
There is little doubt that the group of networks opposing Aereo's continued existence (much less expansion to the rest of the U.S.) will take this battle to the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, Aereo will likely continue its efforts to branch out.
Aereo's TV-to-web service went live more than one year ago, and it's been fighting an uphill war with content providers ever since.
The TV-streaming company currently offers its service to 19 million people in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, according to Engadget.
According to the WSJ, Aereo has met with AT&T, DirecTV and Dish (another provider that's been making waves and ruffling feathers in the pay-TV arena) about expanding across the U.S.
Given the right partnership, Aereo might be able to rock the pay-TV boat hard enough to tip it over and bring about the change that consumers so badly want. Our fingers are certainly crossed.