As broadcasters and Aereo wait to see if the Supreme Court will agree to the former’s recent petition to hear the case against the latter, the Barry Diller-backed streaming service has been sued a second time this week in the state of Utah. And today ABC and CW affiliates owner Nexstar Communications filed a motion for a preliminary injunction (read it here) to shut Aereo down during the course of the litigation from the copyright infringement complaint it filed on Thursday. Launched in NYC last year and already in several other cities across the nation, the much-sued Aereo premiered in Utah on August 19. Fox Broadcasting along with local stations KSTU-TV, KUTV-TV and KMYU-TV filed a suit against Aereo on October 7. Now Nexstar, who own 91 TV stations across America, have jumped into the legal war. “Aereo’s conduct thus has constituted and will constitute willful copyright infringement…Unless enjoined by this Court, Aereo will continue to cause Nexstar great and irreparable injury that cannot be fully compensated or measured in money,” says the 9-page complaint that the Texas-based company filed on October 24 (read it here). The owners of Salt Lake City-based ABC affiliate KTVX and CW affiliate KUCW, Nexstar wants a jury trial, unspecified statutory and actual damages, and, as the motion they filed today reiterates, an injunction against Aereo to stop it from streaming their stations. Interestingly in their pursuit of a preliminary injunction, which Aereo has escaped in NY and more recently in the Boston area in respective legal actions, Nexstar has raised the specter of another streaming service to seek its goal. “Not surprisingly, federal district courts in California and Washington, D.C. preliminarily enjoined an Internet retransmission service that claims it is identical in all material respects to Aereo,” noted the 35-page motion filed in federal court today. Nexstar must be hoping that the use of the FilmOn X cases will have greater success in Utah than it did in Massachusetts, where another federal judge all but ignored the comparison in his October 8 order rejecting such an injunction as sought by the Hearst-owned ABC Boston affiliate. Since that order FilmOn X have been unsuccessfully trying to get the DC-based federal judge to trim the nearly nationwide blackout she order against them on September 5.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.