Aereo said Tuesday that it will unleash its broadband TV/cloud DVR combo in Atlanta on June 24, marking its third launch market, following its initial debut in New York City and in Boston on May 15.
Beginning June 17, customers in Atlanta who have pre-registered with Aereo will receive an invitation to join. After June 24, Aereo will offer subscriptions to all eligible consumers in the Atlanta designated market area (DMA), which it estimates to cover 5.3 million consumers in 55 counties across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. Comcast is the incumbent cable operator in Atlanta.
Aereo said there are 27 over-the-air broadcast channels accessible through Aereo's antenna/DVR technology, including major networks such as WSB-HD (ABC), WAGA-TV (FOX), WXIA-TV (NBC), WGCL-TV (CBS) and WPBA (PBS); special interest channels such as France24, BounceTV, MyTV, and AntennaTV; and Spanish-language broadcast channels such as Univision, MundoFox, and UniMas. In addition, consumers can also add Bloomberg Television, for a total of 28 channels.
Atlanta is just the next stop in the 2013 Aereo launch tour. The company also has plans to debut its service in the following cities later this year: Minneapolis; Madison, Wis.; Cleveland; Providence, R.I.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Chicago; Salt Lake City; Denver; Kansas City; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Tampa and Miami, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Detroit.
Aereo has not released subscription figures. It launched its first major ad campaign in February as it expanded service to 19 million people living in the New York City metropolitan region.
“It's clear that consumers want more choice and flexibility in how they watch television and they don't want to be fenced into expensive, outdated technology. Aereo's antenna/DVR technology brings the old-fashioned antenna into the 21st Century, providing consumers access to the over-the-air broadcast signals that belong to them. We're thrilled to be coming to Atlanta and look forward to our launch in June,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said, in a statement.
Aereo on Monday announced a new “streamlined” pricing structure that will take effect May 15, in concert with its debut in Boston. The new plan drops Aereo’s annual and day plans and features a baseline package with 20 hours of cloud DVR storage that runs $8 per month. Customers can upgrade to 60 hours of storage for $12 per month. New customers get the first month free, and can cancel at any time.
Aereo is expanding against the backdrop of a legal battle with broadcasters, which claim Aereo is violating copyright laws and are seeking en bank (full court) re-hearing by the Second Circuit federal appeals court of the decision by a three-judge panel of that court not to prevent Aereo from streaming TV stations signals while a district court weights the broadcasters’ challenge to that service.
Aereo, which claims it is not violating copyright laws because it is providing remote access to free over-the-air signals its customers are entitled to, has also filed a complaint against CBS to head off threatened suits in markets targeted for expansion.