A couple of days ago, Utah district court judge Dale Kimball granted a preliminary injunction for Fox against Aereo, that spunky online streaming service for over-the-air TV. Kimball’s injunction covers all the states in his district, including Colorado. Which means that, here at FTABlog World Headquarters in Denver, my days of watching Aereo are probably winding to an end.
I was a little surprised that I’m still able to watch 36 hours after the injunction. When I asked the hardest working man in Washington, Broadcasting & Cable’s John Eggerton, he followed up with another note, writing, “Turns out that decision does not become final until after Fox posts a $150,000 bond with the court, which Fox said it planned to do sometime late Thursday or Friday.”
To tell the truth, I’m afraid that this will only change Aereo’s Denver shutdown date by a few months. The Supreme Court will rule on Aereo’s legality this summer, and its post describing the question to be decided matched the broadcasters’ filing as opposed to Aereo’s. That would be very disappointing, forcing every viewer who wants to DVR his OTA channels to set up his own antenna with Windows Media Center or buy a Simple.TV or a Tablo or a ChannelMaster DVR+. Aereo is/was an inexpensive, $0-to-start alternative. As I say all too often about the free-to-air TV world, if it goes away, at least it was nice while it lasted.
Update: Now I hear that Fox might not get around to posting that bond until Monday, giving Aereo another full weekend of life in Utah and Colorado. Fox sure isn’t displaying much urgency in issuing the check that will give it relief from the “irreparable harm” it said it was suffering.
Update 2: Eggerton sent word that Fox finally posted that bond, but Aereo had filed for a stay of the injunction. Until that stay request is decided, Aereo continues to serve Salt Lake City and Denver.