Photo: akasped via flickr
In addition to people cutting the cord on television, broadcasters face a new threat from two big online streaming sites. Aereo and copycat site BarryDriller.com allow viewers to watch broadcast TV online, and the big networks are fighting to put an end to them.
New York-based startup Aereo, backed by IAC chief Barry Diller, allows viewers to watch live television virtually anywhere—from a computer, phone, tablet, or other mobile device—with a fixed payment plan of anywhere from $1 (for a day pass) to $80 per year.
On the heels of Aereo, BarryDriller.com, headed by entrepreneur Alki David, began streaming broadcast signals over the Internet last week to a few cities including Los Angeles and New York for a fee of $5.95 per month or $59.95 per year.
Aereo users receive the channels they want through a remote high-definition antenna that captures television signals and sends them to devices over the Web.
Users can also record shows in a DVR cloud to view later.
Aereo currently offers 28 channels including major networks, CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, The CW, and PBS; Spanish language channels Telemundo and Univision; Asian language channels including SinoVision; the home shopping network, local New York channels, and syndicated programs and films.
“although [the plaintiffs] have demonstrated that they face irreparable harm, they have not demonstrated that the balance of hardships decidedly tips in their favour.”
Fox filed a lawsuit Friday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against BarryDriller.com for retransmitting programming. Now, according to Deadline, a joint copyright infringement claim has been filed by the big networks ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The networks are looking for an injunction against the streaming site along with unspecified damages.
David claims his site is just like Aereo, with both sites giving viewers access to free content already available online.
This isn’t the first time David has had legal issues with the big networks. After launching a similar site FilmOn in 2010 David agreed to pay the networks $1.6 million earlier this month to settle copyright claims. The site is currently still live.
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