As Cablevision and Fox Battle, the Winner May Be Upstart Ivi TV

Oct 27, 2010  •  Post A Comment

With no settlement in sight between Fox and Cablevision, certainly one winner in the dispute is online re-broadcaster ivi (pronounced Ivy) TV, writes TVWeek contributor Aimee Picchi in an article she’s written for AOL’s Daily Finance.

According to the article, "Ivi streams live feeds of New York’s major television stations, including Fox’s WNYW-TV, which has been blocked to Cablevision’s customers since Oct. 16. But with the World Series set to air tomorrow on Fox’s stations, Cablevision subscribers are stampeding to ivi’s service, according to the closely held company. Since the blackout started, ivi TV’s subscribers from the New York area have jumped by 320%, with 300% of those coming from homes with Cablevision connections, says ivi Chief Executive Todd Weaver."

What the actual number of subscribers that is in real numbers Weaver isn’t saying.

Picchi adds, "For consumers, ivi works in a remarkably simple way: After downloading an application that works on Macs, Windows and Linux computers and agreeing to pay $4.99 per month, viewers can watch broadcast TV from any computer with a broadband connection. Currently the service offers the New York-area broadcast stations, as well as those in Seattle. Next on line will be Los Angeles-area stations, followed by Chicago."

A number of broadcasters, including Fox, are suing ivi for pirating their signals, the article says.

However, Picchi writes, "Weaver says his service is legal and operates the same way a cable-operator does: it pays broadcasters through the compulsory licensing fees set up by Congress, which is what cable and satellite retransmitters pay when they retransmit a television broadcast."

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