Aereo Slashes Headcount, Closes Offices

But Company Will Continue to Operate

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The future of Aereo continues to look grim, as the company significantly reduced its headcount and will close its office spaces in Boston and New York.

"In an effort to reduce costs, we made the difficult decision to lay off some of our staff in Boston and New York. 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," said Virginia Lam, senior VP - communication and government relations, Aereo. "This was a difficult, but necessary step in order to preserve the company."

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia outside the Supreme Court earlier this year.
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia outside the Supreme Court earlier this year. Credit: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

The layoffs are expected to impact about 60 employees, according to a person familiar with the matter. Aereo will continue to operate with an executive team of about a dozen people, down from about 115 employees across the company at its peak.

Aereo, which allowed its subscribers to stream and record broadcast TV using dedicated individual antennas at the company's facilities, ceased its service in June after losing its Supreme Court battle against broadcasters.

Since then, Aereo, which is backed by Barry Diller, has been attempting to secure a license to operate as a cable company. Last month, a New York federal judge refused to identify Aereo as a cable company, but also denied broadcasters' request to shut down Aereo's DVR service. While the Supreme Court already ruled that Aereo could not transmit live TV, Aereo might be able to avoid copyright infringement by allowing subscribers to record TV shows and play them back after a period of time.

A recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to consider treating online live TV distributors akin to cable and satellite providers could also present another possible lifeline for Aereo.

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