Aereo's Kanojia implores subscribers: 'Write your local congressman'

Making good on his company's claims that it's not done battling after a devastating Supreme Court defeat, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia on Tuesday released a broadly addressed public letter to Aereo subscribers, urging them to vent their frustration to lawmakers.

Chet Kanojia, Aereo

Kanojia

"Today, I'm asking you to raise your hands and make your voices heard," Kanojia writes, three days after it was announced that the Aereo service would be "temporarily" suspended. "Tell your lawmakers how disappointed you are that the nation's highest court issued a decision that could deny you the right to use the antenna of your choice to access live over-the-air broadcast television. Tell them your stories of why having access to a cloud-based antenna is important to you and your families. Show them you care about this issue."

Kanojia's letter directs subscribers to ProtectMyAntenna.org, which lets users find and message their local representatives simply by inputting their zip code. 

"Find your representatives and send tweets, emails and Facebook messages, asking them to take action to protect your right to use the antenna of your choice to access live free-to-air broadcasts, including the ability to use a cloud-based antenna," Kanojia adds.

The Aereo CEO's pleas come as several makers of streaming TV tech try to move in on his company's market position.  

A day after the Aereo decision, for example, Mark Ely, chief executive of DVR maker Simple.TV, reached out to disenfranchised Aereo subscribers on social media, tweeting, "Former Aereo customer? Join the Simple.TV family."

Meanwhile, RCA, a manufacturer of broadcast antennas since the dawn of the television age, is also trying capitalize on what it sees as a "tremendous amount of opportunity."

"With all of its exposure, Aereo gave a boost to the antenna category in general," Ian Geise, senior VP of Voxx Accessories, which markets over-the-air reception products under the RCA name, tells MediaPost.  

Finally, movie and TV streaming service FilmOn, a longtime thorn in the side of broadcasters, is reinventing itself as a cable company in the wake of the Aereo ruling, Gigaom reports. On Monday, the company announced the launch of a new paid streaming package in 18 cities across the U.S. The new service lets viewers watch content from the major broadcast networks on their computers and mobile devices. 

FilmOn's eccentric billionaire founder and chief, Alki David, is challenging the broadcast networks--which have to date refused to negotiate with FilmOn--to treat his startup like a pay TV company and charge it retransmission fees. It's unclear at this point as to whether the Big Four will take David up on his latest challenge, or merely sue him again. 

For more:
- read this MediaPost story
- read this Gigaom story
- read this New York Times story

Related links:
Aereo temporarily halts operations
High Court does what TV Everywhere failed to do: stop Aereo
So it begins: Fox using Aereo precedent in battle against Dish

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