ivi TV adds Chicago broadcast TV channels to online cable offering

Online cable operator ivi TV, which streams live broadcast channels from several U.S. cities, now includes a dozen channels from Chicago in its lineup including Chicago's ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS affiliates.

The service now offers more than 65 channels from Seattle, New York, L.A., Chicago and international broadcasters for $4.99 a month.

Ivi TV claims to legally offer more content than Hulu, and with no delay, including live sports broadcasts like Sunday Night Football.

"ivi TV continues to scale and rapidly roll-out new markets and deliver to new devices because we don't have to send a truck out to drill holes in consumers' homes and install clunky set top boxes," said Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of ivi TV. "Instead, ivi TV is a new sustainable offering that is quickly and easily downloaded, available to instantly start streaming favorite TV programming in seconds."

Ivi TV, which is available here, launched in September with plans to roll out new markets every 45 days or so. It says its next market will be Philadelphia.

"It's a little poetic that our next market to include is Philadelphia, Comcast's hometown. Despite spending millions of dollars lobbying DC 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," said Weaver, who last week met with Rockefeller's office, and many other lawmakers, in addition to the FCC, in opposition to the pending merger. "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 online competitors, and further extorting consumers."

In November, ivi TV began streaming stations from L.A.

Ivi TV is knee-deep in lawsuits brought by broadcasters attempting to make the company stop streaming TV programming over the Internet. ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and a slew of other broadcasters say ivi TV is infringing on their copyrights for streaming the content without their authorization, claiming in their complaint filed in federal court in New York that ivi TV "launched their infringing Internet TV service to coincide with the start of the new fall television season."

Weaver contends that since ivi pays the U.S. Copyright Office licensing fees, it's streaming is legal.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
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Web cable firm ivi TV announcing content deals 'soon'
ivi TV subs 'surge' during Fox-Cablevision fight
Startup 'online cable' firm ivi TV sued by broadcasters
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