Most Aereo users view TV on mobile devices inside the home

Until now, very little has been known about the subscriber base to Aereo, the new television service that brings over-the-air broadcast signals to Internet viewers via small RF antennas.

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia told investors last week at a Barclays Media conference in New York City that half of the company’s customers have a pay-TV subscription, and 70 percent of their viewing takes place inside of the home on mobile devices. A full 65 percent of Aereo subscribers are male.

Aereo gets its highest viewing levels on Sundays, Kanojia said. News, sports and awards shows are popular with Aereo viewers.

The company streams live television broadcasts online to iOS devices and desktops, as well as to TV sets via Roku and Apple TV. It also offers DVR functionality. Android devices will be compatible soon, Kanojia said.

Currently, Aereo service is operating in New York City and Boston and is coming to Atlanta next month. The company does not release subscriber numbers.

Broadcasters have vilified Aereo, claiming the company is unlawfully using its signals without paying for them. They are suing for copyright infringement, while charging that the service deprives them of advertising and retransmission consent dollars.

However, Aereo has withstood major court challenges from the broadcasters and continues to expand. At the recent NAB Show, several broadcasters supported shifting from free broadcasting to cable if Aereo ultimately succeeds.

Kanojia was asked at the conference about broadcasters shifting to cable in response to Aereo depriving it of retransmission consent fees. He said if they do, other programmers could claim their valuable spectrum.

Not fazed by broadcaster efforts to roll out their own versions of live streaming of their stations, Kanojia said all efforts to expand to the Internet are pro-consumer. Aereo, he emphasized, is not interested in building a cable-like bundle of channels.

In the future, he said, Aereo might license its technology to a distributor, allowing them to also skirt retransmission payments.