Ivi TV Now Broadcasts Chicago Stations
Ivi TV, the Seattle-based startup that hasn't been stopped yet, continues to add new content to its broadcast roster. Calling itself an online cable system, Ivi (pronounced "ivy") streams over-the-air programming online. It already streams content from Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles, and it now streams Chicago programming, as well.
Subscribers to the $4.99 per month service can now watch 12 local channels from the Windy City. Ivi offers 65 OTA channels total.
To get started with Ivi, viewers need to download the desktop client from Ivi's site. Ivi's creators are pitching it to people who have moved from one location, but still want to see that city's stations, or for people looking for online sports coverage.
Ivi's next market will be Philadelphia, something the people behind Ivi are proud of.
"It's a little poetic that our next market to include is Philadelphia, Comcast's hometown. Despite spending millions of dollars lobbying D.C. in hopes to merge with NBC Universal, the proposed merger is increasingly being questioned and was just labeled as ‘detrimental' for its impact on consumers and competition by Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, who is singularly the most powerful voice in Congress on telecom policy. Last week, Ivi met with Rockefeller's office, and many other lawmakers, in addition to the FCC, to voice our concern about Comcast's anti-competitive behavior in the marketplace. If the merger is approved, the FCC must include enforceable measures to prevent Comcast from monopolizing the content marketplace, limiting access to content for its on-line competitors, and further extorting consumers," says Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of Ivi TV.
Ivi won't give subscriber numbers yet, but calls itself the fastest growing cable company in America.
Since Ivi streams content from ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW, and PBS, it's been locked in legal battles since it began. Ivi's defense is that it's a cable system transmitting under U.S. copyright laws, and that the Copyright Act authorizes this type of secondary transmission. Currently, Ivi is waiting on a Seattle judge to determine the location of the trial, a decision that could take months. When the case finally begins, Ivi will square off against ABC, CBS, NBC, Major League Baseball, and others. Expect an especially well-funded court battle to determine whether or not Ivi needs to be pruned back.
An injunction from a U.S. District Court has stopped Ivi from retransmitting over-the-air TV signals.
Does the Copyright Act support online re-transmission of broadcast material? Much is riding on the answer.