Oh, how Hollywood must be reeling: the Barbarians--in the form of web-based cable operator ivi TV--are, literally, at the gate. Ivi TV, which in September launched its $5 a month platform that streams live broadcasts from some 28 network television broadcasters and affiliates in the Seattle and New York markets, as well as 11 international channels, has added 16 more broadcast channels from Los Angeles to its lineup.
All the channels, including those just added in L.A., ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, PBS and others, are available anywhere in the U.S. to ivi TV subscribers with an Internet connection. In addition to the channels from the three U.S. markets, ivi TV also streams a variety of international channels in its lineup, including Intereconomia Business TV, sports programming from Sport Italia, Orange Sport and English language news from China on CCTV9, among many others.
Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of ivi TV, last month said the company's intent was to add a market every 45 days or so to its growing basic lineup.
"ivi TV continues to make good on its promise to give consumers more content and control over their entertainment experience," said Weaver.
As you'd expect, ivi TV has drawn the ire of Hollywood, with broadcasters and studios filing lawsuits against the Seattle startup. ivi TV is facing a suit from broadcasters who say it infringes on their copyrights by streaming their content over the Internet. But Weaver claims that the company is a cable operator, and that it's allowed to retransmit the content since it pays fees for use of the content to the U.S. Copyright Office. ivi TV says it restricts its broadcast service to the United States, fully encrypts and protects all the content it delivers, and charges a fee to subscribers for its service. The license fee it pays, in turn, is distributed to broadcasters, just like 16,000 other cable companies, including AT&T's U-Verse and Verizon's FIOS TV. ivi TV contends it operates within the strict provisions of the copyright law.
"Exactly like both the cable and satellite television industries before it, ivi TV is embroiled in the same battle with broadcasters over bogus copyright claims, all the while ivi TV continues to innovate its way into the hearts and minds of consumers who seek to change the status quo," he said.
- see this release
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