Aereo to Launch in Boston on May 15

9:36 AM PST 04/23/2013 by Eriq Gardner
Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia

The company raised $38 million earlier this year to launch in 22 cities.

Aereo is coming home.

The upstart service that allows users to watch and record local TV without a cable subscription has announced that it will be launching in the Boston metropolitan area on May 15. Although the company originally launched in March 2012 in New York, Aereo's headquarters are based in Boston.

"Consumers deserve more choice and flexibility in how they experience television, and Aereo provides them a high-quality, rationally priced alternative," said Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia. "This is an exciting step forward for the company."

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The move has been telegraphed for months.

In January, at the Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference at CES, Aereo announced that it had raised an additional $38 million and would be expanding into 22 more cities. The financial commitment came from Barry Diller's IAC, Highland Capital Partners and other investors who participated in initially seeding the company with funds.

At the beginning of April, Aereo prevailed over broadcasters in an appellate ruling. All of the major TV broadcasters are suing the company for allegedly violating its copyrighted programming, but the plaintiffs have had trouble convincing judges of a probability of ultimately prevailing in the lawsuit for purposes of attaining an early injunction. The case continues at the trial court, and the broadcasters recently asked for a rehearing at the Second Circuit.

Next month, Aereo says its product will be available to 4.5 million consumers in 16 counties in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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If the company goes along its previously announced expansion plans, Aereo soon will be rolling out in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Madison, Wis., Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, R.I., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Salt Lake City, Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

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