updated 07:35 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2012
Works with content providers to provide streaming
Atlanta-based Skitter has launched a streaming service to offer TV broadcasts directly over the Internet to Roku or WD Live set-top boxes. The service is currently available in Portland, Oregon, with plans to expand to 5 other metro markets by the end of June. What differentiates Skitter from previous efforts to offer live TV over the web is that the company has negotiated licenses for retransmission rights with broadcasters such as ABC, NBC and CBS in each of the markets it serves.
Currently, Skitter is providing Portland subscribers 10 live channels including CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and PBS. It will support 10 additional local channels next week. This summer, it plans to add channels which aren't broadcast over-the-air.
Skitter is not the first service to start offering streamed live TV to consumers in recent months. In February, Aereo kicked off a similar service in New York City. Unlike Skitter, however, Aereo has no rebroadcast arrangements with any content provider and has become embroiled in a series of lawsuits and countersuits despite having a many-antenna system that may techncially be legal.
Skitter hopes to attract subscribers who either are interested in cable TV-like service without the accompanying price, or those who can't get good reception using an antenna. Depending on the individual market, Skitter plans to charge $12 to $15 per month for its service. [via GigaOM]