Aereo streaming TV service premiering Android app next month
Upstart streaming TV service Aereo will launch a native application optimized for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android sometime in September, CEO Chet Kanojia told International Business Times.
Aereo, backed by investors including broadcasting veteran Barry Diller, employs tiny individual antennas to capture TV signals that it streams to consumers for between $8 and $12 a month. The service is available via supported browsers including Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Safari, which is installed across all devices running the company's iOS mobile operating system. Kanojia said the firm originally intended to introduce a native Android app last summer; an exact launch date has not yet been determined.
Aereo is currently limited to a handful of markets including New York City, Boston and Atlanta, but plans to expand to Chicago, Miami, Houston and Dallas over the next several weeks. The company has said it plans to serve most major U.S. markets by the end of 2013. Speaking earlier this month at a Manhattan entrepreneurial event, Kanojia said Aereo requires only a few hundred thousand subscribers to operate at a profit. He added that 1 million subscribers would be "fabulous," and 5 million would be "extremely fabulous."
Aereo doesn't pay broadcasters retransmission fees because it argues that watching TV beamed to a user-controlled antenna is legal. Comcast, CBS Corp., the Walt Disney Company and News Corp. have filed suit against Aereo, demanding an injunction as well as retransmission and licensing fees, but courts have largely ruled in the startup's favor. Last month, Time Warner Cable--which is locked in a contract dispute with CBS--encouraged subscribers to trial Aereo in response to a blackout imposed on CBS programming.
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