TV-over-Internet Service Expands despite Lawsuits

Article excerpt

Byline: Associated Press

NEW YORK The Barry Diller-backed Internet company that challenged cable and satellite TV services by offering inexpensive live television online plans to expand beyond New York City this spring.

In the wake of a federal court ruling that tentatively endorsed its legality, Aereo will bring its $8-a-month service to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and 18 other markets in the U.S., as well as to New Yorks suburbs. For the past year, the service had been limited to New York City residents as the company fine-tuned its technology and awaited guidance on whether its unlicensed use of free, over-the-air broadcasts amounted to a copyright violation.

A federal judge in New York ruled in July that the service doesnt appear to violate copyright law because individual subscribers are assigned their own, tiny antenna at Aereos Brooklyn data center, making it analogous to the free signal a consumer would get with a regular antenna at home.

Aereo spent the subsequent months selecting markets for expansion and renting space for new equipment in those cities.

"The court decision was the green light in our perspective," CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime to build up something meaningful to change how people access TV."

Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. …