Aereo’s Kanojia: ‘No Plan B’
April 22, 2014
By Colin Mann
Echoing recent comments by Barry Diller, the main backer of Internet TV streaming service Aereo, that failure in its forthcoming Supreme Court copyright case would likely see the end of the service, the company’s founder and CEO Chet Kanojia has admitted there is no ‘Plan B’ should the Supreme Court decide against it in the case which begins April 22.
Interviewed by The Associated Press, Kanojia said there is nothing in the US Constitution that says there is a sacred set of companies that will never be affected by new technology.
He said that if Aereo were to prevail, he didn’t think “anything was going to change anywhere” because of Aereo. “What is happening is the entire market base is changing with access to alternatives, whether it’s Netflix or iTunes or things like that. Aereo is simply providing a piece of the puzzle. After we win, it’s not that a sea change is going to happen overnight. It is just going to be that we will be allowed to continue to fit that missing piece in a consumer’s life as they’re evolving. These things take decades to play out,” he suggested.
Asked what Aereo’s Plan B was should the Supreme Court decide against it, Kanojia response was unequivocal: “We don’t have a Plan B.”
Responding to the suggestion that for a $100 million investment, a lot of faith was being placed on a successful outcome, Kanojia said that Aereo used all of its energy in making sure it was ready and continue to grow the business. “To me, if we optimise for loss or a potential loss, we give up optimising for a win. If you believe your position, the only thing you should do is play to win. We’ve never been dishonest with our investors. Everybody knows what the risks are,” he concluded.