Last weekend, Mark Cuban the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV, Shark Tank investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, wrote that Aereo, the Internet-over-the-Web provider, “deserves a lot of credit for their effort,” which made its way up to the US Supreme Court and resulted in a losing legal battle with.
In Cuban’s blog post advocated the innovation behind the Boston Company’s DVR-in-the-cloud service, reason most likely being its similarity to Cuban’s own idea. Billionaire Cuban launched the first serious effort to offer broadcast television over the Web in 1999, with his Broadcast.com website, which now funnels users to the Yahoo!
Like Aereo’s current failure, it too was a failure. Aereo received its final death blow two weeks ago. In late June, the Supreme Court decided the startup had copyrighted content from broadcasting giants the likes of NBC, Disney and FOX, among others. The Supreme Court recommended Aereo pay for cable content, just like all cable carriers have to do. However, no one wanted to even take their money.
Aereo succumbed to the Court’s ruling. Its service came to a halt and users were refunded before officially switching up its strategy and claiming it was indeed a cable company in the lower courts. Two weeks ago the lower courts said Aereo has a small chance of receiving the cable company license, which is necessary to stream TVs from broadcasters in exchange for fees. After the US Copyright Office decision to exclude it from consideration as a cable provider, Aereo will not be able to stay afloat.
“It was a long and expensive shot to do what they went for. But they went for it. And they attempted to pivot after their SCOTUS loss,” Cuban wrote. “The technology has obviously gotten better on all sides of the equation, but sometimes a good idea is a good idea. Even if it is hard to make work.”
Cuban concluded with some final words of enlightenment: “Everything old is always new again in tech.”