I’m sitting in my office (by which I mean my kitchen) watching Rachel Ray on my iPad and Kathy Lee on my laptop. These aren’t clips or day or old episodes. It’s live programming that’s streaming to me via Aereo, the web TV service locked in a legal battle with the big TV networks, which launches to the public in New York City this morning.
Aereo, the New York startup that is building a new system for streaming and recoding live TV, is countersuing the big TV networks that filed a lawsuit against it at the beginning of this month. The company, which is backed by local investors like First Round Capital and Barry Diller’s IAC, says that the courts have already ruled in favor of their technology, just not in this innovative new form.
Incumbent industries have a history of challenging new technologies that disrupt the established way they do business. For example, AT&T sued to keep everything from the answering machine to the Hush-A-Phone out of the market. Yesterday’s news that all the major TV networks are filing suit against streaming TV service Aereo is the latest in a long line of battles about how technology evolves. And Aereo, which recently raised $25 million from backers that include billionaire Barry Diller’s IAC, is ready for a war.
Apple has big plans to launch a streaming TV service by Christmas, and of course the rumor mill is already running wild on when it will sell an actual TV. But first Apple will need to clear a hurdle: Getting the rights to shows for its new TV service. So far, its negotiations with the big media companies are not going well, because Apple has been taking its usual approach: “our way or nothing at all.”
Netflix is in talks to launch a second original series, titled Orange is the New Black, which is a comedy about life in a women’s prison from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, according to a Bloomberg report.
Influential media businessman Barry Diller was on hand today for the debut of new startup Aereo TV, a streaming video service that aims to steal consumers away from the expensive cable and satellite television providers.
After announcing a new YouTube Google TV app yesterday, Google is now encouraging YouTube content partners to sign new terms that give the company permission to play their videos across all platforms (mobile, TV, web, etc.) by default.
The Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) has decided to rip a page out of HBO’s book by giving iPad and iPhone owners early access to its exclusive video content before it debuts to the rest of the world.
U.K. owners of the streaming media set-top box Roku are getting a significant addition to the available content lineup today with an official BBC iPlayer channel.
Despite an aggressive push to increase its variety of TV shows and movies, Amazon isn’t planning to split off its Prime streaming video service into a standalone subscription offering, according to the company’s management team. At least not anytime soon.