Internet TV start-up (can it still be called that?) company, Aereo has created plenty of publicity, and made plenty of enemies since launching back in . And now after a rocky start, billionaire backer Barry Diller has claimed the service could attract up to 20 million subscribers.
The subscription service which re-transmits live and recorded OTA signals to connected devices for $8 per month, is fighting with broadcasters who want payment for re-transmissions just like cable and satellite companies have to pay. But after fighting and winning a long running legal battle, Aereo are in the middle of a nationwide expansion.
After launching in New York, they are heading to Boston and plan to be operating in 22 cities by the year. Diller was speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills and said that once Aereo’s subscriber base grows, they may also stream original content alongside TV signals.
Diller who helped create Fox (who are now suing him) said of the companies that are, “suing us relentlessly”, is no surprise, “No incumbent [media company] ever wants to see its territory invaded. That makes them angry if you invade the territory of a closed system.”
And he thinks that internet based TV will break up the cosy club enjoyed by networks and cable, “I really believe that we’re just starting with video on the Internet, and it is going to absolutely change most things,” said Diller, “It will break up the bundled system of television.”
Although Fox and CBS have threatened to stop broadcasting TV signals over the air and instead become cable channels if Aereo continues, Diller thinks they are blowing hot air saying, “I think there is literally no chance,” as they still bring in big profits for the networks.