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Will Aereo Ever Come to Los Angeles?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I am intrigued by the new local channel service called Aereo. Do you know when it will be available in the Los Angeles area? -- Carl, Los Angeles, California.

Carl, maybe never. And here's why:

Aereo, which offers local TV channels to mobile devices via small antennas, is now available in New York, Boston and Atlanta and it will be available in Utah and Chicago in August and September respectively. The service hopes to be available in 22 markets overall within the next several months.

But here's the problem with Los Angeles and most of the West Coast. Aereo charges a monthly fee (starts at $8 a month) for its local TV channel service and that isn't sitting well with the broadcast networks who are suing the service, claiming copyright infringement.

Thus far, Aereo has been able to defeat the networks' requests for preliminary injunctions to shut the service down, but those rulings have been in the Second Circuit Court on the East Coast. The legal consensus is that Aereo would not fare as well in the Ninth Circuit (West Coast) where the judges would likely be more receptive to the networks' copyright arguments.

So if Aereo launched service in LA, or any other city that falls within the Ninth Circuit's jurisdiction, the networks could immediately file for an injunction there and possibly win. And that precedent could then be used in other regions of the country and ultimately lead to Aereo's legal downfall.

That doesn't mean that Aereo will never reach your hometown,
Carl. But it's not likely to happen anytime soon.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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