Aereo poised to launch in Austin

Michelle Clancy | 25-02-2014

Despite facing a legal injunction against operating in Utah and the rest of the tenth district circuit of the United States, Aereo is launching its over-the-top (OTT) video streaming service in greater Austin area on 3 March. Greater Austin is Aereo's fourth market to launch in Texas and includes a 12-county area.

"We're excited to launch in Austin, our fourth Texas market," said Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia. "Aereo's innovative cloud-based antenna/DVR technology brings the old-fashioned antenna into the 21st Century, providing consumers access to the over-the-air broadcast signals that belong to them. Aereo makes using an antenna easy again – the way it should be. We're looking forward to kicking off in Austin."

Aereo membership will be available to consumers residing in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Gillespie, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson counties. Greater Austin residents who pre-register at will receive priority access to sign up, the company said.

Aereo will give users the ability to record and watch 19 over-the-air channels including KVUE (ABC), KXAN (NBC), KEYE (CBS), KTBC (FOX), KNVA (CW) and KLRU (PBS); special interest channels ThisTV, MOVIES!, GetTV, Create TV and AccuWeather; and Spanish-language channels UniMás, UniVision, Telemundo and Estrella TV. In addition, consumers will also have the ability to add Bloomberg Television.

Aereo membership begins at $8 per month.

The Barry Diller-backed company is being sued by broadcasters like CBS, NBC, FOX and others, who allege that the service, which hasn't paid retransmission fees for the feeds, violates US 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.

After a series of legal battles, the Supreme Court on 10 January that it would hear the case, ABC Television Stations vs. Aereo, with a decision expected sometime this summer.