ivi to Launch in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia
SEATTLE: The online program purveyor locked in a legal
battle with broadcasters is launching service in three more cities, a company
spokesman said today. ivi.tv, billed
as a “wireless cable TV” service, is launching in Los Angeles, Chicago and
Philadelphia, Hal Bringman said.
ivi is claiming the right to redistribute TV station signals online under a
collective statutory license without regard to retransmission or carriage
negotiations. The company filed suit against broadcasters in U.S. District
Court in Seattle seeking an affirmation to do so. Broadcasters have filed in a New
York federal court, seeking to shut ivi down.
The service, though online, carries local stations--currently those in Seattle
and New York. Bringman said Los Angeles is on deck to be “quickly followed” by
Philly and Chicago, though the use of encoders by which local stations
signals are apparently obtained and redistributed online.
ivi said it’s service got a 320 percent boost in New York during the recent
retransmission stand-off between Fox and Cablevision. Actual subscriber numbers
were not divulged.
ivi is charging $4.99 a month for service after a free 30-day trial.
-- Deborah D. McAdams