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AEREO threatens cable TV model: CEO at Digital Summit

May 6th, 2013
Chaitanya 'Chet' Kanojia, CEO, founder, AEREO

Chaitanya ‘Chet’ Kanojia, CEO, founder of AEREO, will participate in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta.

AEREO has stirred up a hornet’s nest of contention in the television space, offering a cloud-based antenna and DVR technology that lets consumers watch live or recorded TV broadcasts on Internet connected devices.

News Corp COO Chase Carey has threatened to take Fox TV off the air and make it a pay channel because of AEREO’s technology.

With cable-cutting a real threat to satellite and cable TV providers, this is just one more wrinkle threatening their business models.

It’s not often you see a startup immediately threatening the major players of an industry, but AEREO has managed it. The company, which launched in February 2012, is venture-backed by IAC, FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, Highland Capital Partners, High Line Venture Partenrs, Lauder Partners, and SV Angel.

Broadcasters, satellite and cable companies lost a battle in court to stop AEREO with an injunction, however. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals said a U.S. District Judge was correct in refusing the injunction.

The suit was brought by Fox Television Stations Inc, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Wpix Inc., Univision Television Group Inc, the Univision Network Limited Partnership, WNET, Thirteen, and Public Broadcasting Service. They have vowed to continue the fight.

Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, has said it might emulate AEREO’s business model and grab over the air broadcasts and deliver them to customers via Internet connections.

It’s all an ongoing controversy. You can hear from AEREO CEO and founder Chaitanya “Chet” Kanojia at the TechMedia’s Digital Summit in Atlanta next week (May 14-15), where he’ll join more than 100 other digital thought-leaders participating in the event.

TechMedia events have had controversial guest before (such as the Winklevoss twins, who challenged Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s creation).

Previously, Kanojia was the founder and CEO of Navic Networks, the industry leader in advanced television advertising. Navic Networks was subsequently acquired by Microsoft in 2008. Chet holds more than 14 patents in fields ranging from robotics to data communications systems, is an innovative leader known for pushing beyond the conventional and developing breakthrough solutions.

TechJournal plans an interview with Kanojia ahead of the Summit if possible.

Here’s AEREO’s launch video:


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