updated 04:07 pm EDT, Thu June 27, 2013
Cloud-based DVR, live TV streaming service covers 16 counties
Live TV streaming service Aereo is launching its service in Chicago, Illinois on September 13. The expansion of the service to Chicago comes after successful launches in New York City, Boston, and Atlanta, and will continue its national rollout despite continued opposition and legal threats from a number of broadcasters.
The service will be made available in 16 counties across Illinois and Indiana, and will offer the major broadcast networks as well as over-the-air special interest and foreign language channels, along with the option to add Bloomberg Television. Aside from the first month being free, Aereo will start from $8 per month for access to the system and 20 hours of DVR storage, with a $4 upgrade increasing it to 60 hours.
Aereo continues to be attacked by broadcasters keen to protect their revenues. In a recent interview, ABC president Anne Sweeney called Aereo "wrong," believing it to be "illegal" and "opportunistic piracy," despite courts siding with Aereo. The service, which uses thousands of miniature HD antennas for streaming to subscribers, is "taking advantage of our content, of our creative community, and using it for their own gain," according to Sweeney. Aereo CEO Barry Diller claims that the lawsuits and public complaints by the broadcasters has attracted customers to his service, and that he is "happy the broadcasters sued us in such a noisy way."
The service hopes to expand into 21 other US cities this year.