Aereo is an online video streaming service that uses dime-sized antennas to provide individual broadcast streams to customers through the Internet. The company is now planning to launch in Austin, Texas on March 3rd. Last week, Aereo expanded to San Antonio. Houston was added last year.
This news comes on the heels of a U.S. District Court in Utah become the first state in the country to temporarily shut down the service. This was a rare legal win for broadcasters that are taking Aereo to the Supreme Court this year. The District Court’s decision covers Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Aereo is backed by IAC chairman Barry Diller. The service launched in New York in 2012. When Austin joins the list, Aereo will now be available across 13 major metro areas including NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and San Antonio. Aereo ceased operations in Salt Lake City and Denver after the District Court decision by Judge Dale A. Kimball.
Several media companies are suing Aereo in multiple states and are claiming that the service infringes their copyrights. Aereo argues that it does not need to pay for the programming like cable or satellite companies because the service is based on individual antennas for every subscriber. Aereo charges $8 per month for their cheapest package.
Most other courts have sided with Aereo so far. The U.S. Supreme Court is going to review Aereo on April 22nd.