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Cordcutting

Cordcutting

HuffPo Cofounder Ken Lerer Launches Stealthy Online Video News Startup for the Jon Stewart Set

ken-lerer

Huffington Post cofounder Ken Lerer is apparently at work on a stealthy startup aimed to “attract a generation of Web natives who watch Jon Stewart but not CNN or Fox News,” reports Peter Kafka at AllThingsD. Internet locals who love Jon Stewart and loathe cable news . . . wait, is he talking about Betabeat??

The startup is so stealth it doesn’t even have a name yet, although it’s already hiring. The service will function as a joint venture between Lerer Ventures, Mr. Lerer’s seed stage VC firm, and Bedrocket Media Ventures, the video studio and incubator he cofounded shortly after selling HuffPo to AOL for a cool $315 million. Read More

Cordcutting

In Counterclaim Against TV Networks, Aereo Compares Itself to the Advent of the VCR and DVD

via VentureBeat

Perhaps it’s public posturing in advance of its Wednesday launch, but Aereo couldn’t seem less bothered about the two copyright infringement lawsuits the startup is currently facing in the Southern District of New York. Case in point, yesterday afternoon Aereo filed a breezy counterclaim–not countersuit as reported elsewhere–against ABC, CBS, Disney, NBC, Universal, Telemundo, and more.

(If you’re playing catch-up with our coverage, here’s a quick primer: 1. For only $12/month, the Long Island City-based startup Aereo lets users live-stream and record broadcast TV to any mobile device. Because the startup also incorporates Hulu and Netflix and doesn’t require any additional devices or dongles, the IAC/Interactive-backed company makes cord-cutting even more of a reality.  2. Broadcasters no likey. On March 1st, two groups of broadcasters filed suit for copyright infringement.) Read More

Cordcutting

Unperturbed By Double Lawsuits, Barry Diller Predicts Aereo Will Live-Stream Broadcast TV In Up to 100 Cities This Year

via Wikimedia

Aereo, the IAC-backed startup that uses thumb-sized antennae to live-stream–and record!–broadcast TV, Hulu, and Netlix to any mobile device, isn’t even technically available for another couple days. But that hasn’t stopped IAC chairman Barry Diller from thinking big.

At a keynote address at SXSW yesterday, Mr. Diller predicted that Aereo, which will be available in New York City starting March 14th, will be in 75 to 100 cities within the year. That chipper, can-do attitude extended to Aereo’s competitors as well.

“I completely understand their motivation. It’s going to be a great fight,” Mr. Diller said of the two-fold lawsuits from broadcasters like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS alleging copyright violations. Read More

Cordcutting

Aereo, the Barry Diller-Backed Service to Stream Live TV, Responds to Lawsuit From NY TV Stations

areo

Two sets of New York-based broadcast TV stations filed complaints yesterday against Aereo, a new startup that streams live TV from major networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS, as well as other local channels to any mobile device. The lawsuits, which ask for injunctive relief and damages, argue that Aereo rebroadcasts their TV programming without licensing or consent. (The fact that Aereo, which launches March 14th, charges only $12/month probably doesn’t sit well with them either.)

As AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka explained, Aereo knew these copyright challenges were coming, which is partly why the company recently raised a sizable $20.5 million series A round led by IAC, with participation from existing investors like FirstMark Capital and First Round Capital. Aereo’s position is that its service is legal because the company issues every user their own (thumbnail-sized) antenna, stored in a local warehouse. By structuring it that way, they claim that it’s consumers accessing the content, not Aereo. Read More

Cordcutting

Aereo Picks Up $20.5 M. for a Thumbnail-Sized HD Antenna to Stream Local TV in NYC

How I Live-Streamed Your Mother

A magical thing happened at IAC’s headquarters this morning. A startup called Aereo displayed the most compelling argument for cord-cutting we’ve heard in awhile. It came in the form of a thumbnail-sized HD antenna. Sign up with Aereo and users get the right to license their own antenna, which are stored in a local warehouse. Then, log on via any web-enabled device (smartphones, iPads, even AppleTV) and ta-da, members can access major networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS, as well as other local channels. Better yet, you also have the ability store up to 40 hours of programming on their remote DVR.

“No cords or cable required,” the company’s press release says pointedly. The service is limited to New York City right now, but only costs $12 a month. Throw in a Netflix account, Hulu, and you’re probably good to go. Happy Valentine’s Day, Dying Cable Industry!

Aereo (formerly called Bamboom Labs) also anounced a $20.5 million series A round led by IAC. Read More

Cordcutting

Time Warner Cable Subsidizes Slingbox. TV Programmers Beware.

slingbox

To both cable TV distributors and cable TV programmers, the possibility that consumers will finally cut that cord probably sounds like a slashing sound somewhere near their their bottom line.  But at least one big distributor is choosing to adapt.

The New York Times reports that Time Warner Cable, one of the top cable and internet providers in the country, announced yesterday that it would soon be subsidizing the cost of Slingbox, a set-top device that untethers viewers from their home television screen and lets them watch programming from anywhere, including computers, mobile phones, or second homes.

Based on Time Warner’s recent legal battles with Viacom, which owns channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon, Viacom isn’t going to be very happy about getting shot in the foot. Read More

Cordcutting

Cable Companies’ Solution to the Internet: Guess We’re Gonna Have to Sell Better Porn?

Preemium content?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cable company once in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a new revenue stream. In fact, cable and satellite companies have lost such a sizable chunk of the self-pleasuring market that they’re finally admitting, out loud, that they have a pornography problem.

The Wall Street Journal reports that recent weak pay-per-view and video-on-demand earnings reports from the likes of Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are prompting the companies to disclose that, when it was good, porn was a highly-profitable business for them. The paper says that cable companies used to have their own dirty little secret: they once commanded margins of over 90 percent on renting “generally interchangeable” (i.e. ho-hum) porn titles. Read More