Aereo ending operations, laying off 43 in Boston

Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo.
Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo.

Aereo, the controversial online service that let users live stream local TV channels, says it will shut down next week and lay off 43 workers at its South Boston office.

In a letter to employees, the New York-based company attributed the shuttering to a June Supreme Court ruling that deemed its business model a violation of copyright laws. Aereo streamed broadcast channels to subscribers without paying retransmission fees to TV networks.

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In recent months Aereo sought to reposition itself as a sort of online cable provider that could obtain a license to broadcast channels by paying royalties to the US Copyright Office. The company said its new approach attracted interest from investors and could have led to an acquisition.


But in October a federal judge in New York dealt the company another blow by issuing an injunction forcing it to halt transmissions immediately. Interest from prospective funders and buyers quickly faded.

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“It is now clear that at this time we are unable to obtain additional funding that would prevent the need to close our operations,” the letter to employees said.

Related coverage:

Innovation Economy: Decision in Aereo case won’t stop tech disruptors

Aereo’s use of TV fare found to break copyright law

Aereo has few options for a Plan B, but now it needs one


Supreme Court expresses skepticism on Aereo

Aereo wants a TV revolution, if the Supreme Court will let it

Callum Borchers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.