The company hasn't yet announced its immediate plans going forward, such as when the service will be shuttered and whether customers will be able to get a refund. While the current Aereo service is pretty much a goner, it's not quite clear whether the decision means an end for Aereo itself. The company has raised a significant amount of investment money—about $100 million—and it has developed technology and experience capturing and storing TV signals that could be of use to other companies in the TV industry, including cable companies.
Another option would be to continue its service but start paying broadcasters retransmission fees, just like a cable company. But that would greatly increase its costs, and presumably the amount it would have to charge its subscribers.
A third option would be to lobby Congress to change the copyright act, especially if it could build a groundswell of grassroots consumer support for the service, though that's clearly an uphill battle.
Consumer Reports, like some other public-interest groups, had publicly supported Aereo's service. “We’re disappointed that the Supreme Court has ruled to make it harder for consumers to access and watch broadcast television when and where they want," said Ellen Bloom, Senior Director of Federal Policy for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “We think Aereo was on to something by filling a need for low-cost, flexible viewing options. As cable prices keep skyrocketing, the consumer demand will continue to grow for more personalized, affordable ways to watch television."
We've reached out to Aereo to get more information about its immediate—and longer-term—plans, but the company has so far provided only the statement posted on its blog. We'll continue to follow up with the company as more details are announced.
—James K. Willcox