Broadcasters could bring Aereo fight to Supreme Court-sources

Reuters

By Erin Geiger Smith and Ronald Grover

Oct 10 (Reuters) - The broadcasters involved in ahigh-profile lawsuit with online TV service Aereo could file apetition to the U.S. Supreme Court as early as Friday, accordingto two sources familiar with the matter.

Aereo, backed by Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive Corp, charges about $12 a month to watch live or recorded TVchannels on computers or mobile devices.

In federal court in New York, Walt Disney Co's ABC,Comcast Corp's NBC, Fox and CBS Broadcasting are among those claiming that Aereo's service amounts tostealing their proprietary content. In April the U.S. 2ndCircuit Court of Appeals ruled that Aereo could continue tooperate while the New York litigation moves forward.

The television industry is closely watching the case to seewhether it could disrupt the traditional TV model. The TVindustry sees the service as a threat to its ability to controlsubscription fees and generate advertising income, its two mainsources of revenue.

The main question in all the suits is whether Aereo'stechnology provides users with a "public performance" of theplaintiffs' content. Copyright owners have the exclusive rightto public performance of their works.

The news that the broadcasters were considering appealing tothe Supreme Court was previously reported by Variety and theWall Street Journal.

A representative from CBS declined to comment.Representatives from Fox, Disney, NBC and Aereo did notimmediately respond to requests for comment.

On Thursday, Online TV service Aereo Inc logged anothercourt victory, with a federal judge refusing to temporarily shutdown the IAC-backed start-up in a lawsuit brought by a Bostonstation owned by Hearst Television Inc.

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