Antenna firm offers free devices to Aereo customers

Days after the streaming TV service Aereo announced it was suspending its operations, one company is offering subscribers a free antenna to watch their favorite NBC, CBS and other broadcast shows.

“We have a solution to the Supreme Court ruling that resulted in the loss of your local broadcast television: A free antenna from Antennas Direct,” the Missouri-based retailer said.

The company is giving away antennas, coaxial cable and mounting to the first 1,000 Aereo subscribers who respond.

“To receive your free antenna, simply upload your Aereo billion statement and pay $10.00 for shipping,” the company said.

Before it announced that it was temporarily shutting down this weekend, Aereo operated farms of tiny antennas that beamed broadcast signals to subscribers’ laptops, tablets and other devices for a low fee. The company claimed that it was no different from any other antenna and should be allowed to operate without having to pay the fees that cable and satellite companies offer broadcasters to retransmit their content. 

Last week, the Supreme Court disagreed, dealing a fatal blow to the TV service. In a 6-3 ruling, the high court declared that the company was violating broadcasters’ copyright licenses, a major victory for the broadcast companies. 

Aereo chief executive Chet Kanojia has urged supporters to call on Congress to overhaul copyright law, but the odds of legislation seem incredibly slim.