Author Archives: tcannata

The Next Chapter

A little over three years ago, the team at Aereo set out to build a better television experience for the consumer.

We began this journey because we were frustrated with a system that we believed was broken and no longer served the consumer. When it came to watching live television, the options were few, the products available were cumbersome and didn’t fit our increasingly mobile lifestyle, and costs were unreasonably high and rising.

With that in mind, we put our collective engineering power to work to create an online technology that was simple, useful, and compelling, and provided consumers with a true alternative to how they watch local live TV. That’s how Aereo came to life.

Our engineering team created the first cloud-based, individual antenna and DVR that enabled you to record and watch live television on the device of your choice, all via the Internet. In less than two years, we went from drawings on a napkin to launching Aereo’s technology in more than a dozen cities across the country.

The enthusiasm we encountered was overwhelming. The sense of frustration consumers expressed reinforced our mission. We knew we had touched a nerve, had created something special, and had a built something meaningful for consumers.

But we encountered significant challenges from the incumbent media companies.

While we had significant victories in the federal district courts in New York and Boston and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the reversal of the Second Circuit decision in June by the U.S. Supreme Court has proven difficult to overcome. The U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo’s technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty. And while our team has focused its energies on exploring every path forward available to us, without that clarity, the challenges have proven too difficult to overcome.

Accordingly, today, we filed for Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. We also appointed Lawton Bloom of Argus to serve as Aereo’s Chief Restructuring Officer during this period.

Chapter 11 will permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts.

We have traveled a long and challenging road. We stayed true to our mission and we believe that we have played a significant part in pushing the conversation forward, helping force positive change in the industry for consumers.

We feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to build something as meaningful and special as Aereo. With so many shifts and advances in technology, there has never been a more perfect time to take risks, challenge the status quo and build something special.

Thank you for all of your support. Your emails, tweets, Facebook posts and letters have meant the world to us. We are incredibly grateful to have gone on this journey together.

Yours truly,
Chet Kanojia

Still Standing Up for Innovation, Progress, Technology and Our Consumers

Last June, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in favor of Aereo. We have since paused operations nationally and have been working diligently to create a path forward for the company.

On Friday, we filed a required ex-parte notice disclosing our recent conversations with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where we expressed our support for including a narrow category of online video services, whose facilities deliver to subscribers linear channels of video programming such as local, over-the-air broadcast programming, within the FCC’s definition of a Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD). You can read our filing here.

We believe that clarifying the MVPD definition to narrowly include linear online video services like Aereo’s would have clear benefits to consumers, creators and distributors alike.

We believe that creating regulatory parity and a clear set of rules among linear video programming systems will increase investment and competition in the video programming market, allow new entrants to emerge and provide consumers with new and innovative video products.

As a company, we have always worked hard to follow the law. Should the FCC move on this issue, it would be a meaningful and important step forward for competition in the video marketplace.

Thank you for your continued support of Aereo. We look forward to keeping you updated as our future unfolds.

Chet Kanojia

Nice to Meet You Baltimore!

Aereo Launches in the Baltimore metropolitan region today.

Aereo launches our 10th market today, Baltimore! Wondering if you live in our coverage area? Check out our map here.  Wondering if you have a compatible device? We’ve got a link for that too.

Last week, we were fortunate to join the good folks at Tech Breakfast in Columbia, Maryland to demo Aereo.  The capacity crowd braved the cold and the snow to check out Aereo and all of the other fantastic companies. Thanks Tech Breakfast for hosting us!

Want to learn more about Aereo? Read more here or email us at support@aereo.com.

Statement from our CEO & Founder Chet Kanojia

Aereo today released the following statement from our Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia regarding the company’s brief filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court:

“We have decided to not oppose the broadcasters’ petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court. While the law is clear and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and two different federal courts have ruled in favor of Aereo, broadcasters appear determined to keep litigating the same issues against Aereo in every jurisdiction that we enter. We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition.

“The long-standing landmark Second Circuit decision in Cablevision has served as a crucial underpinning to the cloud computing and cloud storage industry.  The broadcasters’ filing makes clear that they are using Aereo as a proxy to attack Cablevision itself.

“Aereo provides to consumers antenna and DVR technology. With Aereo, a consumer tunes an individual, remotely located antenna and makes personal recordings on a cloud DVR.  The Aereo technology is functionally equivalent to a home antenna and DVR, but it is an innovation that provides convenience and ease to the consumer. The plaintiffs are trying to deny consumers the ability to use a more modern antenna and DVR by trying to prevent a consumer’s access to these technologies via the cloud.

“Consumers have the right to use an antenna to access the over-the-air television. It is a right that should be protected and preserved and in fact, has been protected for generations by Congress. Eliminating a consumer’s right to take advantage of innovation with respect to antenna technology would disenfranchise millions of Americans in cities and rural towns across the country.

“We are unwavering in our belief that Aereo’s technology falls squarely within the law and we look forward to continuing to delight our customers.”

Download press release.

 

Aereo Will Be In Baltimore December 16!

Aereo’s expansion continues with our 10th market: Baltimore! We’ll be available to 11 counties across Maryland starting December16.

Here’s what our CEO Chet Kanojia had to say:

From the Inner Harbor to the Eastern Shore, the Baltimore metropolitan region is a growing and dynamic community and we’re excited to be launching there next. Aereo’s antenna/DVR technology brings the old-fashioned antenna into the 21st Century, providing consumers access to the over-the-air broadcast signals that belong to them. Our technology is a more simple, elegant and easy way to watch television – the way it should be.  At Aereo, we believe consumers deserve more choice, better technologies and a better customer experience and we’re committed to delivering on all three.”

Check the map below or check your zip code here to see if you are in our coverage area. If you’d like to get Aereo early, pre-register here.

We can’t wait to bring our technology to you, Baltimore! See you soon!

Interested in learning more about our launch? Check out our press release.

For more information about Aereo, please visit us at Aereo.com.

Hello, Boston!

The time has come. We’ve sent out our first invitations to Bostonians! It’s great to be live in the city that’s home to many of our team members. We’re sending out invitations in waves, so if you haven’t received your invite yet keep an eye on your inbox. Your early exclusive access is coming soon!

Thank you for your support, excitement and patience as we launch in the great city of Boston.

 

Aereo in Boston

We couldn’t be more excited to launch in Boston next month, a town with a passionate tech community that is home to many of Aereo’s employees. To celebrate our Boston launch announcement yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the Boston New Technology Meetup and introducing our Aereo UI to a group of enthusiastic and supportive folks who made it out to StartupLab Allston, undeterred by the rain. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome – we’re so happy to launch in Boston.

For all those in the greater Boston area who are interested in experiencing Aereo, pre-register here to get first access before it’s available to the general public. Those who pre-register will get a special invitation to join Aereo starting on May 15th. General membership access starts on May 30th.

Download Press Release

People have enjoyed the right to access over-the-air broadcast television…

using an antenna for over 70 years. The broadcast networks have been granted free and valuable broadcast spectrum worth billions of dollars in exchange for their commitment to act in the public interest. It’s a sweet deal: the broadcasters get their free spectrum from the public and make money on advertising to fund their programming; the public enjoys high quality entertainment with their TV or rooftop antenna.

Along the way, cable and satellite providers entered the picture. In addition to free spectrum and advertising revenues, the networks got very lucrative retransmission fees from these providers. And so, for many, broadcast television is now offered in expensive fixed bundles or packages. Yet many millions of Americans continue to use antennas to get broadcast TV.

The approach at Aereo is to make the old-fashioned TV antenna easier to use, creating a platform that gives more choice to consumers. Aereo provides consumers with a remote individual antenna and DVR “in the cloud.” Instead of climbing on your roof or playing with rabbit ears on your TV, you can simply log in to a website and easily use your antenna and DVR through the Internet to watch TV on any device.

The broadcast networks have taken this to court, but the courts have twice ruled in favor of Aereo. And now in direct response to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Aereo’s favor on April 1st, a representative of a broadcast network threatened to stop making certain broadcast channels available to the consumer over-the-air and called the use of Aereo’s antenna technology “piracy.”

About 54 million Americans use some sort of antenna to watch TV. This is not piracy. This has been part of the American way since the beginning of broadcasting.

At Aereo we believe in innovation, we believe in giving consumers choice, and frankly, we love our tiny antennas. Our passion is to make our technology enhance the way people experience television. We think we’re on to something really important here. And we hope you will come visit us at Aereo.com.

Aereo Prevails, Part II

Chalk up another victory for consumers

Today marks another important day for consumers as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of Aereo, upholding a July 2012 decision denying a request for a preliminary injunction against Aereo.

In other words, we’re one step ahead in the fight for innovation, progress, and consumer choice.

“Today’s ruling to uphold Judge Nathan’s decision sends a powerful message that consumer access to free-­‐to-­‐air broadcast television is still meaningful in this country and that the promise and commitment made by the broadcasters to act in the public interest in exchange for the public’s spectrum, remains an important part of our American fabric.

“We may be a small start-up, but we’ve always believed in standing up and fighting for our consumers.  We are grateful for the court’s thoughtful analysis and decision and we look forward to continuing to build a successful business that puts consumers first.”

-Chet Kanojia, Aereo Founder and CEO

 

Download Press Release

Aereo Hearts New York – Hurricane Sandy Relief

In the words of Mayor Bloomberg, Hurricane Sandy was a “storm of historic intensity. But New Yorkers are resilient and we have seen an enormous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate and help out.”  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

It’s been a devastating week and a half for the Big Apple and tri-state area. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the severity of the devastation and destruction left in the storm’s wake has become all too clear. The team at Aereo continues to keep all those affected by Hurricane Sandy in our thoughts.

All last week, we expanded our Try for Free access so that folks in New York City could use our technology to keep up to date on the latest emergency storm news and information. It was small gesture that we hope brought some measure of comfort to those who were displaced or left in the dark.

We believe technology can play a significant role in helping people during emergencies. Thank you to those who tweeted or messaged us during the storm. We’re glad that we could help and be there for New York City. Supporting our local community is important to us.

And we want to do more.

To help in the recovery effort, Aereo’s Long Island City office will be collecting coats for New York Cares’ Annual Winter Coat Drive. The temperatures are dropping and coats are badly needed for families across our City. If you have a coat to donate, please bring it to our offices at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, Suite 512.  All sizes are welcome.

There are other ways you can help in the Sandy relief and recovery efforts.

Google is compiling a map of Sandy volunteer and donation locations:

http://bit.ly/VD6KDN

You can also pitch in through these organizations:

NYC Service – The City’s Official Volunteer Office

http://www.nycservice.org

http://www.facebook.com/nycservice

 

American Red Cross of Greater New York

http://www.nyredcross.org

 

Food Bank for New York City

http://www.foodbanknyc.org

 

At Aereo, we’re proud to do our part and we hope you’ll join us in helping our communities recover from Hurricane Sandy.