| LOS ANGELES, April 29
LOS ANGELES, April 29 Barry Diller, the
billionaire media mogul who is backing the startup Aereo TV
service said it expects to reach between 25 and 30 percent of
the U.S. television audience with the wireless service that
broadcasters say undermines the economics of their business.
On April 1 a federal appeals court denied a motion by major
media companies to shut down Aereo, which uses large numbers of
TV antennas to capture broadcast signals for its subscribers who
don't want to pay cable and satellite operator's higher cable
Diller, speaking in Los Angeles on Monday to a conference
sponsored by the Milken Institute, estimates the service, which
is currently only in Los Angeles and Boston, would roll out to
22 more markets by the end of the year and to eventually reach
25 to 30 million potential subscribers for its $7.99 a month
"Broadcasters are saying, this is awful, but the courts have
spoken" said Diller, who is also chairman of IAC.
"They're just trying to create a controversy that they can take
to Congress to get some help."
Diller said Aereo has no plans to hire Washington lobbyists
to battle the media giants, relying instead on "many millions of
TV consumers" who will argue on Aereo's behalf.
"I thank the broadcasters for making all that noise on our
behalf," he said in an interview after the session.
Aereo doesn't break out the numbers of its subscribers, and
Diller said it will "be expensive for marketing to reach
potential users once the technology is in place throughout the
country." The technology relies on capturing broadcast signals
with a farm of small antennas, then giving subscribers access to
them over the internet.
Diller made light of whether he intended to negotiate with
broadcasters, some of whom have threatened to take their
channels off over-the-air broadcast and to put them instead only
on cable and satellite services, where Aereo can not capture the
"If they think they can take prime time programming away
from their affiliate TV stations, they will learn soon enough
that's not the case," he said "I've told broadcast executives
I'm happy to negotiate with them. As soon as Radio Shack buys
them antennas, we'll buy them, too."