Controversial over-the-web television service Aereo is moving ahead with plans to expand their service to a wider audience this year. The company plans to make the service available in 22 cities over the next 12 months, covering more than 97 million Americans in the process.
A press release dated January 8 reveals that Aereo has identified the following cities for expansion in 2013: Boston, Miami, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Cleveland, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham (NC), Salt Lake City, Birmingham (AL), Providence (RI), and Madison (WI).
Aereo launched in New York City last year as a service that allows customers to watch live streaming television over the Internet. The provider is able to do this by taking advantage of a loophole in the legal system. By installing a huge array of tiny antennas across a specific region to capture over-the-air signals, they can then broadcast the feed over the web to local subscribers so long as there are enough antennas to cover the number of members.
As you can imagine, the service gathered a great deal of legal attention from broadcasters including ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW and PBS. Thus far, however, they have been able to fend off court room attacks and remain a viable (and legal) source for live television if you happen to live in the coverage area.
In related news, Aereo also announced they have secured $38 million in a Series B round of funding led by existing investors IAC and Highland Capital Partners. This will no doubt go a long way in helping with the upcoming 22 city rollout.