Aereo reveals plan to add Atlanta as third market

By Ben Mook

Aereo, the over-the-air TV streaming service that broadcasters have gone to federal court to block, plans to expand into Atlanta, its third major market, next month.

The move into Atlanta is to take effect June 17. Aereo’s launch in Boston is scheduled for May 15.

In March 2012, Aereo began offering  daily, monthly or annual subscriptions to television viewers in New York. It uses dime-sized antennas to capture broadcast signals and convert them into streaming video distributed over the Internet. Subscribers “rent” the antennas and have the option to watch television programming live or on demand via a device similar to a digital video recorder.

Broadcasters, including PBS and New York’s WNET,  seek to block Aereo’s expansion through lawsuits filed in federal court in New York, but so far the courts have declined to provide relief. Last July, Judge Alison J. Nathan refused to grant an injunction against Aereo, an action that likely would have shut down the service.  After an appeal by the television networks, whose various complaints are being heard by the same judge,  the decision was upheld earlier this month by the U.S. Second Circuit.

Networks including Fox and CBS have warned they will consider shutting down their transmitters and move toward distributing their programs exclusively on cable if  Aereo prevails in court.

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