Aereo offers streams of over-the-air broadcasts from channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and PBS and makes them available on PCs and smart devices for $8 or $12 a month. It has installed many dime-sized antennas in New York City and other areas that receive broadcast transmissions and then pushes those transmissions to customers via the web. It also offers a cloud-based DVR so you can watch shows on your schedule.
The company recently won a major court victory against TV networks that meant the service could continue running. In response to that ruling, executives from News Corp. and CBS casually threatened to turn their broadcast networks into cable channels so Aereo’s re-transmissions could be stopped. (However, that seems unlikely.)
Even with the push-back from big media players, the company intends to keep expanding. After Boston, it has plans to hit other big cities by the end of the year.
People in the Boston area who have pre-registered for Aereo will get an invitation to join on May 15. Anyone else who wants the service can join after May 30. Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia and several of his employees are actually Boston natives, so making the service available in that market is especially meaningful to the company.
“Consumers deserve more choice and flexibility in how they experience television and Aereo provides them a high-quality, rationally-priced alternative,” Kanojia said in a statement. “This is an exciting step forward for the company. Today’s announcement is even more meaningful and special for our more than 60 employees who call the Boston area home, including me. I’m proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.”
New York City-based Aereo has raised $63 million to date from investors including IAC, Highland Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and High Line Venture Partners.
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