NimbleTV Blows Into Chicago

NimbleTV, the startup that provides Slingbox-like remote TV access to consumers with existing pay-TV subscriptions via a centralized cloud-based platform, said it has expanded into the Chicago metro area.

In Chicago, NimbleTV is providing access to a subset of live TV channels for free to area consumers who already subscribe to video services from Comcast and AT&T U-verse. Alongside that free component, NimbleTV also sells a cloud-based HD-DVR service that starts at $4.99 per month for 10 hours of storage space.

NimbleTV launched its platform in New York last year for subscribers of Verizon Communications FiOS, Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable and RCN. NimbleTV on Wednesday also announced Wednesday that, like its Chicago offering, its baseline remote access service in New York is now available for free alongside the company’s paid cloud DVR service.

NimbleTV said it plans to rollout to several other major U.S. cities later this year. Markets previously cited by the company as potential expansion hubs include Atlanta; Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.

NimbleTV has no deals or direct affiliations with multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), but does require users to log-in and verify their pay-TV credentials before they can access TV programming via the company’s data centers.

“We’re delighted to offer Chicago residents a new way of viewing their TV that’s on their terms,” said Anand Subramanian, founder and CEO of NimbleTV, in a statement. “By allowing them to ‘Nimble-ize’ their cable subscription, customers can change the way they access their TV while also respecting the existing TV ecosystem that pays creators for their content.”

NimbleTV currently supports most browser platforms, iOS devices, the Apple TV (via Airplay), Roku (through a private NimbleTV channel), and select Android devices and connected TVs.

NimbleTV has not released total customer figures, but in May the company said it was getting about 1,000 sign-ups per day in New York.

Although NimbleTV insists that its approach is legal and preserves the existing pay-TV ecosystem, at least one MVPD has started to review the legality of the service, Variety reported Wednesday.

NimbleTV also sells three “Pro” plans for consumers who do not already subscribe to a pay-TV service. Its 20-plus channel plan runs $29.98 per month with 20 hours of DVR storage; 40-plus channels for $59.98 per month and 20 hours of DVR storage; and $84.98 per month with 20 hours of DVR storage included. NimbleTV also sells premium packages from Cinemax, Starz and Showtime ($14 each per month), Fox Soccer Plus ($15 per month), and HBO ($19 per month).