Even though every single major broadcast network has pending legal action against Aereo, the company nevertheless launched its service as promised, today in New York City. Aereo is a groundbreaking platform that takes existing free antenna signals from the metropolitan airspace, and retransmits it through the Internet so that city dwellers can tune into live TV for free. As you might expect, not everyone is excited.
In one lawsuit, Aereo will have to face claims from Fox, Univision, PBS, and some local New York affiliate networks. In another lawsuit, ABC, NBC, and CBS are gunning after the same company. To say it will be a David vs. Goliath fight, which is the usual metaphor for an extraordinary fight where all the cards are stacked against someone, isn’t even a strong enough statement.
Today’s launch, though, proves that Aereo thinks it can survive. It isn’t an open-and-shut case, obviously. Aereo received more than $25 million in funding from very knowledgeable business people. The case will no doubt set legal precedent. Under the law, antenna signals can be transmitted to one device. The verbiage on what a “device” is, though, is sketchy. For now, check out Aereo for some free TV.