Although Fox is one of the networks suing ivi TV to make it stop streaming broadcast signals on the Internet without permission, ivi says it got lots of new subscribers from Fox pulling its WNYW-TV New York from Cablevision for half a month.
ivi claims its subscriber increase from pre-blackout to post-blackout was 323%. During the time that Fox programming was unavailable via cable for Cablevision’s three million subscribers, ivi ran a guerilla PR campaign that included street teams passing out “Keep Calm ivi’s On” flyers across Manhattan. Cablevision doesn’t serve Manhattan, but no doubt many of its Bronx, Brooklyn and suburban customers work there.
“At a time when even Wall Street’s top analysts signal that the entertainment industry has its future in its own hands, ‘big media’ backed entities arrogantly and consistently leave consumers in the crossfire while emerging companies like ivi TV drive innovation affording consumers an attractive alternative to pricey cable TV,” said ivi TV CEO and founder Todd Weaver.
The press release sent out by ivi claims that its service complies with US Copyright Law, but that has yet to be determined. The Internet streaming company and the broadcasters trying to shut it down are currently fighting in federal court over where the legal battle should be fought. ivi wants the cases to be consolidated in Seattle, where it is based, because ivi sued first for a declaratory judgment that its retransmission of broadcast TV signals does not infringe the copyrights owned by the content owners. The broadcast networks want the case to be tried in a New York federal court and say their lawsuit has priority because ivi improperly filed its preemptive lawsuit after being served with cease and desist letters.