CEO: Lawsuit could Kill Internet TV Startup
News Corp.'s Fox and other broadcasters went to court on Wednesday to try to pull the plug on a startup that takes live TV programming and sends it to mobile devices in New York for a monthly fee.
If granted, a preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs would devastate Aereo, the company's chief executive told a judge at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.
Extended litigation "would be the end of the company," Chaitanya Kanojia said.
Kanojia testified that Aereo made no secret of its plan to assign each $12-a-month subscriber one of the tens of thousands of miniature antennas warehoused in Brooklyn. The setup allows users to capture over-the-air broadcasts for viewing on iPhones, iPads and computers.
"I did this the right way," he said. "We were public about what weÂ're building."
Rather than object before Aereo launched its service this year, the plaintiffs chose "to lie in wait until we exposed ourselves and then sued us," Kanojia said.
The copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and others accuses Aereo of copying and retransmitting their programming over the Internet unlawfully. Aereo has argued that it's providing a legal, alternate platform for free TV broadcasts.