Even though Aereo faces a flood of lawsuits, the startup continues to expand at a furious rate.
According to a report from Consumerist, Aereo — which allows people to access live broadcast television from other digital devices — expects to launch the service in Miami, Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Currently, it is available in New York City, Boston and Atlanta.
People can use Aereo via Apple (AAPL) iOS devices, Roku boxes and web browsers — and even use DVR features — for a dirt-cheap $8 monthly subscription fee. It can do this because it uses sophisticated antennas to capture TV signal without having to pay retransmission fees.
As one would imagine, traditional TV operators like CBS (CBS), Comcast (CMCSA), Disney (DIS) and News Corp (NWSA) aren’t thrilled with the service and have filed lawsuits to kill off Aereo. But the company has remained defiant, seeing itself as a tech David going up against a greedy Goliath — and chances are many cable customers are rooting for David.
Aereo’s most recently announced expansion could be just the beginning. Aereo has raised a war chest of $63 million from investors including FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, SV Angel and Highland Capital. And he company also has the backing of IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller, a legend in the media and entertainment industry who has brought about innovations like QVC to the market.
The litigation looks likely to reach the Supreme Court. If Aereo can pull off a victory, it would be bad news for the old-line broadcast players, which will feel pressure to lower prices.
What’s more, Aereo probably would become a red-hot IPO candidate.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.