Aereo Coverage Expands To Cincinnati Area Next Week

While the Supreme Court won’t be making its decision on Aereo’s streaming video service until later this year, the people of Cincinnati (and surrounding area) will soon get a chance to make up their minds about whether Aereo is worth all this fuss.

The company announced this morning that it will launch in the Greater Cincinnati region — a 24-county area (see below for more details) that also includes parts of Indiana and Kentucky — on Jan. 21.

Subscribers will get online access to 30 over-the-air channels, including WCPO (ABC), WLWT (NBC), WKRC (CBS), WXIX (Fox), WPTO (PBS) and CET (PBS), along with a handful of special interest and weather channels.

The base $8/month subscription includes 20 hours of cloud-based DVR storage. An additional $4/month triples that to 60 hours.

For those who aren’t aware of Aereo, the streaming startup uses arrays of very small antennae to capture freely available over-the-air broadcast signals and then transmit them on to subscribers in the local market.

The company has been sued by all of the major broadcast networks who claim that Aereo is violating copyright and illegally retransmitting signals without permission and without paying a fee.

Aereo contends that because each individual antenna is dedicated to a single end-user, the service is doing nothing more than acting as a really good rooftop antenna, but instead of sending that captured signal along a few dozen feet of copper cable in a house, it’s being sent over the Internet.

In each region that Aereo has launched, broadcasters have sought court injunctions that would stop the company from operating in that area. So far, the broadcasters have been unsuccessful.

So last fall, the broadcasters asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let them jump the normal queue of waiting for all the regional rulings to come in and just hear the case already. Aereo agreed, and the Supremes decided last week that they would hear arguments this coming spring.

Back to the Cincinnati news, consumers in the following counties will have access to Aereo starting Jan. 21:

OHIO
Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, and Warren;
KENTUCKY
Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Mason, Pendleton, Robertson and Owen
INDIANA
Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland, Franklin and Union.