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Aereo Pushes Public-Interest Case With Free Internet TV Offer

Aereo, fresh off a legal victory over major
TV broadcasters, is offering consumers in its initial New York City market free
streaming access to 28 channels for a continuous one-hour period every day and
has introduced new pricing plans starting at $1 per day.

The new free option and pricing structure from the startup,
whose backers include IAC's Barry Diller, comes two weeks after a federal
district court judge denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against Aereo
filed by a group of 17 network broadcasters.

The move appears aimed at showing Aereo serves the public
interest by offering more consumer options, including free TV, according to
BTIG Research senior analyst Rich Greenfield.

In her July 11 ruling, Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York noted that "Aereo is
a business and does not provide ‘free' access to broadcast television" in
considering whether there was a public interest rationale for rejecting the
injunction sought by broadcasters. Judge
Nathan's decision
relied on a previous appeals court ruling that
Cablevision Systems' RS-DVR service did not violate copyright laws.

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