Web startup Aereo sets its sights on Boston TV market

Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:58am EDT

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(Reuters) - Aereo, the red hot Web startup that has raised the ire of U.S. broadcasters, is planning to expand to Boston starting May 15, the company said on Tuesday.

Backed by Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, Aereo plans to launch first with consumers who pre-registered and then more broadly to the Boston area on May 30.

Aereo is currently available in New York.

The company has caught the attention of the likes of News Corp's Fox, Walt Disney's ABC, CBS Corp and Comcast's NBC because it offers people cut-rate subscriptions to their channels.

The broadcasters collect millions of dollars in fees from cable operators to carry their stations. Aereo does not pay anything to the broadcasters.

This prompted the media companies including News Corp and Disney to file a lawsuit against Aereo. Earlier in April, a U.S. appeals court declined to temporarily shut down the online television venture.

Meanwhile the broadcasters have upped the ante: Fox is threatening to remove itself from the free airwaves and become a cable channel if the courts do not shut down Aereo.

(Reporting By Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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