updated 05:26 pm EDT, Sun July 15, 2012
Billionaire backing Aereo says service is a consumer right
Online television rebroadcaster Aereo will expand its service beyond New York to include most major markets. This according to Barry Diller, the billionaire backing Aereo. Speaking with Bloomberg, Diller said the company plans to increase its marketing efforts over the next year and a half; a task made easier by a recent court decision giving Aereo the go-ahead for the time being.
Aereo captures broadcast signals with antennas and streams them to subscribers' iPads and other mobile devices. The company also offers subscribers the option of a cloud-based DVR, allowing them to save content for later watching.
In March of this year, several broadcast networks filed suit against Aereo, claiming that the company's service constituted copyright infringement and asking the court issue an injunction blocking Aereo. Aereo subsequently countersued the TV networks, arguing that its TV streaming service used one micro antenna for each customer and was thus legal. Last week, a judge ruled that Aereo must be allowed to continue its operations during the course of the litigation.
Now Diller says that the company will expand its marketing efforts in the wake of its initial court victory. The company plans to roll out its service in most major markets over the next year and a half.
Diller calls the rebroadcasting service provided by Aereo a "right" for consumers. The billionaire even acknowledges the negative impact Aereo's operations have on broadcasters, claiming that an acquaintance at a major broadcaster told him Aereo had caused the broadcaster's stock to drop two percent.