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October 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A U.S. district court judge in Boston has refused to grant broadcasters a preliminary injunction to prevent the Barry Diller-backed Aereo service from operating in the city, saying that they were unlikely to prevail in their copyright-infringement lawsuit. Aereo uses tiny antennas assigned to each subscriber that picks up broadcast signals and relays them to the subscribers via the Internet. The suit was brought by Hearst-owned WCVB, an ABC affiliate that is regarded as one of those most powerful stations in the country. In his decision, Judge Nathaniel Gorton rejected WCVB’s claim that it would lose advertising dollars because viewers using the Aereo service would not be measured by Nielsen. That claim, he said, is “simply not true.” He pointed out that Nielsen itself had announced last February that it is beginning to include online viewership in its viewership totals” BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said on Thursday that in fact Aereo “would be a meaningful positive for broadcast TV ratings as it would make the content more accessible.” On the other hand, he acknowledged, the “challenge” is to retransmission fees from cable and satellite distributors. In the end, he said, “broadcast networks might need to rethink their businesses models (conversion to cable networks, with or without their local affiliates).”