Broadcasters have asked a Utah federal judge to ban Aereo immediately even as though the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the service’s legality.
The broadcasters argued in papers filed Friday with U.S. District Court Dee Benson that Aereo’s continued presence in Utah while the Supreme Court heard the case against the company would threaten their “goodwill with viewers” and “create confusion.”
Similar requests in New York and Massachusetts have been denied.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Aereo’s legality in June. The company rents out a small antenna to users which transmits broadcast television to multiple devices such as smartphones. The broadcasters say the IAC-backed startup is illegally retransmitting television; Aereo says it is simply renting remote antennas.
Friday’s legal filing comes as Aereo has reportedly halted signups in New York City due to heavy demand. Customers trying to sign up for the service are greeted with the message: “Thanks for your interest in Aereo! We are currently sold out in New York.”
Brief Take: Give them an “A” for persistence, but there is little to suggest the broadcasters’ latest request in Utah will succeed.