Aereo Expanding to Atlanta Next; Sets June Launch Date

Antennae-based service announces next city after Boston

Aereo, the online service broadcast networks despise because it allows customers to watch their signals on their computers, announced Tuesday that it will expand to Atlanta June 17.

Atlanta will be the company's second market outside of the New York City area. The company made the announcement the day before it is scheduled to launch in Boston. It also plans to move to 22 markets, including Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia.

Broacasters have already sued over Aereo, saying its service amounts to illegally retransmitting their signals. CBS has threatened to sue in Boston, also, and Aereo has asked a judge to stop networks from suing in every new market where it expands.

Aereo streams video by capturing live TV signals using antennas small enough to fit on  fingertips. The company says it puts "tons" of antennas in data centers and then relays the signals to laptops, phones and tablets.

The company relays ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, the CW, Univision and PBS, among other networks available by antennae, but does not relay cable channels.

It poses a threat to networks in part because it lets customers fast-forward through ads, which undercuts the traditional ad-sponsored TV model — a model already besieged by DVR viewing, Netflix and other streaming services, and Dish's ad-skipping AutoHop service.

Aereo says all it is doing is harnessing the power of the humble antenna, which has always given TV owners access to the public airwaves.