On the day his company announced that Utah would be its next market expansion, and online entertainment service Netflix confirmed it was looking at an ultimate market potential of 60 million to 90 million US households, Chet Kanojia, CEO of Internet TV streaming service Aereo, has suggested that one in of four TV viewers will be using Aereo in the next five years.
In a one-on-one interview at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Kanojia shared his thoughts on the operation’s growth. In the next five to seven years, Kanojia hopes that one in four people will be using Aereo.
Aereo early January 2013 announced its expansion to 22 new US cities. These 22 markets represented the first phase of Aereo’s planned nationwide expansion, which will be rolled out over the course of 2013, starting in the late spring: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham (AL), Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Madison (WI), Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence (RI), Raleigh-Durham (NC), Salt Lake City, Tampa, and Washington D.C. The Chicago launch is scheduled for September 13. “Every week or two weeks there will be two or three more cities,” Kanojia told Fortune senior writer Jessi Hempel.
Aereo seems to have the upper hand in ongoing legal battles with the broadcast networks. The US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York mid-July drew to a close the copyright infringement action taken against Aereo, with Fox, one of the parties to the action, suggesting it may pursue the matter in a higher court. In April, a panel of judges for the 2nd Circuit ruled that Aereo did not violate copyright law. The broadcasters – including Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC – subsequently petitioned to have that decision reviewed by the full court. Their ‘en banc’ request has now been denied.
Despite the broadcasters’ legal actions, Kanojia said: “I don’t think of any of these companies as enemies. They have large great businesses, and they were great businesses long before we came around, suggesting that he always had faith that media companies needed “interesting, neutral tech companies” that could create a relationship.