Aereo Sets Sept. 13 Chicago Launch Date

9.5 Million Area Consumers Will Have Access to Service

At the TechWeek Chicago event, Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia announced that the company plans to launch its services in Chicago on Sept. 13.

The controversial live subscription-TV service will give more than 9.5 million consumers in Chicago and 16 counties in Illinois and Indiana access to streams of live local broadcasts on a variety of Internet-connected computers, smartphones and tablet devices.

The service, which offers DVR features in addition to the live broadcast feeds, is currently available to consumers in the New York City, Boston and Atlanta designated market areas.

Aereo has not released usage or subscriber counts in the markets where it is already available.

The launches are occurring as broadcasters continue to battle the service in court. They have consistently contended that Aereo, which does not pay them for the signals, violates copyright laws.

In announcing the latest expansion, Kanojia noted in a statement that "consumers want more choice and flexibility when it comes to how they watch television and the enthusiastic response to our technology from people across the country has been humbling. At Aereo, we feel that we've built something meaningful for consumers and we're proud of the work we've accomplished. However, there's still much more to come as we continue our expansion into new cities throughout the summer and fall."

In Chicago, Aereo reports that its service will give subscribers access to WLS-TV (ABC), WFLD-TV (Fox), WMAQ-TV (NBC), WBBM-TV (CBS) and WYCC (PBS), as well as what the company is calling "other other-the-air special-interest and foreign-language channels." Consumers also have the ability to add Bloomberg Television.

Aereo is currently supported on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari, Opera, AppleTV (via airplay) and Roku devices, but not Android. Android support is expected to launch later this year.

The service will be available to consumers residing in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, La Salle, Lake, McHenry and Will counties in Illinois. In Indiana, it will be available in Jasper, La Porte, Lake, Newton and Porter counties.

Aereo memberships or subscriptions start at $8 per month, with the first month free, for access to Aereo's cloud-based antenna/DVR technology and 20 hours of DVR storage.