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TMCnet Feature

February 07, 2014

Aereo Resumes Subscriptions in NYC, Halts Them in Atlanta


The Barry Diller-backed online TV company Aereo has started taking orders in New York City again after a week-long hiatus that the company attributed to a lack of capacity.

But, it’s now officially out of capacity in Atlanta, and has discontinued taking orders there for the $8 monthly service. The company said that it will notify customers there when new subscriptions open up again, but didn’t offer a timeline.

In New York, people who are on the waiting list are being notified first before the company reopens its Web site for general sign-ups, according to spokesperson Virginia Lam.

Aereo, which is backed by IAC's Barry Diller, delivers local broadcast feeds and a handful of other networks over the Internet (in New York it delivers 20 networks). Unlike other OTT streamers though, it uses a dime-sized antenna to capture and deliver the content.

"Our team has been working overtime to add more capacity in our existing markets. As soon as additional capacity is added, new consumers will be notified that they can sign up and create an Aereo account," Aereo said.

Meanwhile, broadcasters like CBS, NBC, FOX and others are suing Aereo, alleging that the service, which hasn't paid retransmission fees for the feeds, violates U.S. copyright law. But the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an appeal motion asking for an injunction to shut Aereo down; the crux of the decision held that transmissions made by consumers using the Aereo technology are not public performances under the Copyright Act and therefore not in violation.

It’s not over: the Supreme Court on January 10 that it would hear the case, ABC Television Stations vs. Aereo, with a decision expected sometime this summer.

On its earnings call yesterday, FOX said that it is optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule in its favor.

Aereo is rolling on in the meantime: it just announced that it will go live in the greater San Antonio region on February 19.  Greater San Antonio includes a 22-county area across Texas.  Aereo’s announcement follows its expansion to the Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore and Cincinnati metropolitan areas. It also comes on the heels of an additional, third-round infusion of $34 million of fresh funding.  




Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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