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Upstart TV service Aereo has confirmed that it is laying off staffers in its Boston and New York offices, following a report that it is shutting down operations.
“In an effort to reduce costs, we made the difficult decision to lay off some of our staff in Boston and New York,” Aereo spokeswoman Virginia Lam told The Hollywood Reporter. “We are continuing to conserve resources while we chart our path forward. We are grateful to our employees for their loyalty, hard work and dedication. This was a difficult, but necessary step in order to preserve the company.”
Earlier Thursday, Beta Boston’s website published a letter in which Aereo stated it would be “permanently shutting down its operations” on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Beta Boston claimed that Aereo would be laying off 43 employees while others will stay until the company officially shuts down.
Aereo, which took on TV broadcasters by offering consumers a way to access the major networks on digital devices, had been struggling to stay alive after losing a high-profile Supreme Court case in June. There, the court found for the broadcasters, ruling that Aereo’s system of capturing over-the-air TV signals and relaying programs to subscribers constituted a violation of public performance rights. A U.S. district court in New York issued an injunction last month, barring Aereo from “streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing any Copyrighted Program over the Internet (through websites such as aereo.com), or by means of any device or process throughout the United States of America, while the Copyrighted Programming is still being broadcast.”
Before the injunction was issued, Aereo had been trying but failing to redefine itself as a cable operator.
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