Aereo, the cloud-based television provider that has drawn the ire of TV networks, is spreading further across the country.
The company announced on Thursday that it will offer its service to consumers in Miami, Houston, and Dallas starting next month. The Miami service will be available on September 2, while the Houston and Dallas offerings will launch on September 16 and September 23, respectively.
Aereo provides an extremely small antenna that allows customers to access over-the-air programming. The company also has a cloud-based DVR that lets users record over-the-air programming and watch it back on personal devices, such as tablets, PCs, and even the Apple TV. The cloud-based DVR acts the same as any hardware model, delivering recording, rewinding and fast-forwarding, and the ability to save a title for future viewing.
That Aereo is expanding to more cities might be more than a little upsetting to major TV networks. NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS (the parent of CNET), have sued Aereo, claiming that the service violates their copyrights. The networks have requested that Aereo pay them retransmission fees.
The networks, however, might have an uphill battle in proving that case. In New York, they have already lost an early round, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruling that they had "not demonstrated that they are likely to prevail on the merits of this claim in their copyright infringement action."
Since then, the networks have questioned Aereo's appeal, with CBS chief Les Moonves saying last month that he believes the service is "more wind than reality," adding that "we don't think it's catching on at all."
Aereo has yet to reveal its user figures.
When the service launches in the three new markets next month, Aereo will offer customers the first month free. After that, they can get into a membership that starts at $8 per month.