Aereo to Launch in Sinclair's Home Turf, Avoids Flagship Fox Affiliate

NEW YORK—Aereo announced plans to launch its OTT television technology in the Baltimore metropolitan region Dec. 16. The region includes 11 counties across Maryland. The announcement follows its earlier expansion in the Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Detroit and Denver metro areas. Broadcasters are suing Aereo in New York, Boston and Salt Lake City for copyright violation. None have yet secured the requested injunctions to shut the service down while the issue of copyright is being decided.

Aereo said it will pick up 17 over-the-air channels, including WMAR, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate; WBAL, an NBC and MeTV belonging to Hearst, which is suing Aereo in Boston; CBS O&O WJZ; Sinclair-run CW, WNUV and WUTB, the MyNetwork affiliate; WMPT, the local PBS, plus BounceTV, ZUUS Country, ThisTV and Bloomberg Television. Aereo did not mention picking up WBFF, the local Fox affiliate and Sinclair’s flagship station. It does, however, carry Sinclair’s CBS Salt Lake City affiliate, KUTV. Sinclair, through a series of aggressive acquisitions over the last two years, now comprises the largest TV station group in the country, with a total of 163 in 77 markets. It did not respond at post time regarding Aereo’s Balmer launch.

Aereo subscriptions start at $8 per month for access to its cloud-based antenna/DVR technology and 20 hours of DVR storage; 60 hours costs $12 per month. Aereo launched in March of 2012 and is currently supported on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and devices running Android operating system version 4.1 or higher. It is also supported on Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Opera, AppleTV (via airplay) and Roku platforms. The company has yet to publish its subscriber numbers, and is falling behind its predicted launch schedule of 20 cities by the end of the year. A mid-September launch was announced for Chicago, but the Aereo website doesn not indicate that city is yet online. Launches were also anticipated in Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnatti and San Antonio, Texas, which have not yet occured.

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A federal judge in Boston has denied a motion from the Hearst station group to impose a preliminary injunction against Aereo; in effect, allowing the service to continue operating in Beantown.

July 17, 2013:Judge Says Court Got Cablevision Wrong
Judge Denny Chin says the court got it wrong with a ruling that allowed Cablevision to deploy server-based digital video recording without content provider consent. That 2008 decision redefined TV signal copyright law, and is now the basis of Aereo’s contention that it has a legal right to redistribute those signals without permission.

July 16, 2013,Second Circuit Won’t Hear En Banc Aereo Appeal”
A federal appeals court denied a request by broadcasters for all 13 judges to consider their request for an injunction against Aereo.

July 10, 2013,Boston ABC Affiliate Sues Aereo
WCVB-TV, the Hearst-owned ABC affiliate in Boston, has filed suit against Aereo for copyright infringement.

July 9, 2013:Aereo Launches on PlayOn Software
MediaMall Technologies said Tuesday that its PlayOn software will now make Aereo local TV channels accessible to Aereo TV users on select gaming consoles, set-top boxes and Android devices. ~ from TWICE

June 28, 2013:
Aereo’s Unlikely Proposition
“Anyone who has taken antennae 101 knows that tiny pieces of metal separated by tiny distances act as one piece of metal.”

April 1, 2013,
Aereo, Two-Love
Broadcasters were denied an injunction against signal aggregator Aereo for the second time today when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected their premise.

September 25, 2012, “Cablevision Friends Broadcasters in Aereo Case
Cablevision is urging a federal court to reverse a July ruling that allowed Aereo to continue retransmitting broadcast TV signals without permission.

August 6, 2012:Report: Aereo Legality Could Hinge on Patents
Aereo’s copyright infringement case may rest on its patents, according to ReadWriteWeb, which quotes an IP expert saying that patents typically have “no relevance” in copyright cases, but that Aereo is an exception.

August 2, 2012:Aereo Dangs the Torpedoes, Offers Free Trial, $1-a-day Pass
A new feature allows Big Apple denizens to try Aereo for free “for a continuous one-hour period each day,” and for a $1 a day for those who want to try it out a little longer.