Now a Web start-up, called Aereo, is offering to remove that last barrier with a simple method. It is using antennas to pick up programming from public airwaves and then deliver shows into homes that have a Web connection — for as little as $10 a month.
With Aereo planning to expand its service to Washington and 21 other markets this summer, CBS, ABC and other big networks have attacked the upstart company with renewed vigor.
In lawsuits, they argued Aereo is little more than a content thief. But their efforts to persuade federal courts to shut it down have failed. On Monday, Fox television’s parent company fired back, saying it might consider delivering its shows only through cable connections, no longer broadcasting them.
“We won’t just sit idle and allow our content to be actively stolen,” said Chase Carey, president of News Corp., which owns Fox Television.