Everyone’s favorite rogue streamer of broadcast TV, Aereo, will soon be available in the metropolitan area of San Antonio, TX. After running out of capacity in its New York market last week, the company once again proved it is still on the move, opening in its 12th market starting February 19th.
For those uninitiated, Aereo streams network broadcasts to computers and mobile devices from a cloud-based DVR platform over tiny antennae, for which users pay a monthly fee starting at $8/month. Aereo does not pay licensing fees to the networks for its services, claiming its requirement of an individual antenna for each user designates each re-broadcast as a private performance. As we mentioned in our recent article, the technicality has allowed the company to stay in business — for the moment — but it’s also reportedly the reason its New York market is at full capacity: Aereo is simply out of antennae in the area.
Aereo’s service has been a thorn in the side of networks since its inception two years ago, and the big four, including Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC have helped waged a litigation war against the company in an attempt to get the service shutdown for good. While Aereo has come out on top in the majority of cases, the issue has been a contemptuous one in the courts, spawning a forthcoming suit to be decided by the Supreme Court.
The constant litigation, along with various technical difficulties has stymied Aereo’s goal to open in 22 markets by the end of 2013, outlined in a recent interview with the company’s founder, Chet Kanojia. Still, it has managed to stay in business and continue expansion, though at a slower pace than predicted.
For those who want to join the Aereo family before the High Court makes its ruling, the service is currently available in Cincinnati, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Denver and Baltimore, with San Antonio next on the docket.
While its New York market is all filled up for the moment, the company is working on expanding capacity, and has said it will let potential users know as soon as more slots are available.