Barry Diller predicts major Aereo expansion by 2013

The billionaire, speaking in a Bloomberg Television interview, says that the controversial streaming service is going to ramp up marketing efforts.

Aereo backer Barry Diller.

Fresh from a legal victory against the TV networks, controversial streaming service Aereo expects to expand beyond New York to other large U.S. cities, Aereo backer and billionaire Barry Diller said today.

"We're going to really start marketing," Diller said in a Bloomberg Television interview at the Allen & Co. annual retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho. "Within a year and a half, certainly by '13, we'll be in most major [markets]."

For $12 a month, the streaming service allows subscribers to receive and record programs on any Internet-connected device over a dime-size antenna. The service -- available exclusively in New York for the time being -- takes the tiny TV antennas and connects them to the Internet.

A federal judge yesterday denied a request by the major TV networks to prevent the streaming service from rebroadcasting their programs over the Internet. The judge found that while both sides had demonstrated possible harm in the situation, the "balance of hardships" did not "decidedly" tip to broadcasters' favor.

The service was hit by two complaints by the TV networks in March, one from NBC, ABC, and CBS (parent company of CNET) and the other from Fox, Univision, and PBS. The broadcasters say "no amount of technological gimmickry" changes copyright law or the fact that Aereo needs permission to distribute their shows.

Diller, the chairman of IAC and former Hollywood wunderkind, argued that because customers own the antennas, Aereo doesn't owe retransmission fees to the networks.

 

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