Unrepentent ivi.TV Launches in Los Angeles

SEATTLE and LOS ANGELES: ivi TV, the self-described online cable provider, announced today that it launched in Los Angeles. The service rebroadcasts live local TV station signals without the express consent of the stations. The ivi folks consider TV signals fair game under general copyright law. Television Broadcast reported ivi’s plan to launch in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago earlier this month.

ivi launched earlier this year in Seattle and parts of New York, claiming the right to carry broadcast signals under a collective statutory copyright license. Wired cable and direct broadcast satellite TV providers negotiate retransmission consent deals with broadcasters who do not elect must-carry.

ivi filed suit against broadcasters in U.S. District Court in Seattle seeking an affirmation of its legal position. Broadcasters have filed in a New York federal court, seeking to shut ivi down.

ivi TV carries signals from ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW and PBS affiliates. Its service costs $5 a month and is available via a downloable app. Subscriber numbers have not been released.
-- Deborah D. McAdams