Aereo Case Will Let Supreme Court Define the Future of TV

By Adam Ramirez on April 21, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Supreme Court will consider the future of television on Tuesday when it hears arguments about the legality of Aereo, an Internet-television service that uses tiny remote antennas to capture broadcast TV signals and redistributes them online.

If the High Court says Aereo is legal it could usher in a revolution that shapes the way we watch and pay for television.

Aereo's technology is a threat to both the lucrative cable bundles and the networks that receive big-time fees for inclusion in cable packages. Aereo would give so-called cord cutters the means to assemble a more affordable package of online streaming options like Netflix or Apple TV and still watch "NCIS" and the NFL. Consumers pay $8 to $12 a month to watch and record broadcast programs with a few seconds delay.

The legal question before the Justices is whether Aereo is violating broadcasters' copyrights by setting up farms of tiny antennas and then renting access to each one to its subscribers. The technology is a crafty work around that essentially means no cable box and no expensive cable bill.

Broadcasters including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS sued Aereo for copyright infringement, saying Aereo should pay for redistributing the programming the same way cable and satellite systems do.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo Tuesday. Read Aereo's Supreme Court brief here:

Aereo Supreme Court Case Will Define How We Watch TV in the Future

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