Barry Diller, one of the largest backers of Aereo, says the online TV service is likely “finished” if it loses its case before the Supreme Court.
The justices will hear arguments on April 22 in television broadcasters’ case against the company. The networks say Aereo violates copyrights by illegally retransmitting their signals. Aereo says it is merely harnessing the power of the perfectly legal antennae on a massive scale.
“If we lose, we’re finished… it’s very possible that there’s some salvage,” Diller told Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker in an interview Wednesday. “But Aereo would probably, as I say probably just because I can’t — I can’t see any path forward. It probably would not be able to continue in business.”
The networks are asking the justices to reconsider an April 1, 2013 ruling by a New York federal appeals court that sided with Aereo. The company uses millions of tiny antennae to beam broadcasters signals to subscribers’ laptops, tablets, and other devices.
Broadcasters say Aereo poses a threat to the ad-supported TV model by allowing users to fast-forward through commercials as long as they watch with a slight delay. Broadcasters have sued in several venues even as New York City-based Aereo has expanded across the country.