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Aereo wins round two versus TV networks

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Aereo’s state of grace continues

Embattled New York-based TV service Aereo has won another significant point in its long-running dispute with the country’s largest TV broadcasters, after a US federal appeals court rejected a request filed by the latter to shutter the service.

The TV networks – which include the likes of Disney, CBS and News Corporation – cite breach of copyright in their case against Aereo, which retransmits TV signals over the Internet to connected devices for a small monthly fee (starting at US$ 12 per month).

This latest victory in the appeals court follows on from an earlier ruling in July 2012 which rejected a petition by the TV networks to slap an injunction on Aereo, on the grounds that it would effectively force the company out of business.

Chet Kanojia, CEO of Aereo, said: “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 act in the public interest in exchange for the public’s spectrum, remains an important part of our American fabric.

“We may be a small start-up, but we’ve always believed in standing up and fighting for our consumers. We are grateful for the court’s thoughtful analysis and decision and we look forward to continuing to build a successful business that puts consumers first.”

Barry Diller, the billionaire businessman behind Aereo, has already indicated that he plans to bring the service beyond its New York City confines to another 22 cities nationwide.

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