Friday, January 21, 2011

ivi TV could be "off the air" soon

Yesterday, a Federal judge in Seattle dismissed a suit filed by ivi TV, the company that sent programming from broadcast stations in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and other markets over the Internet without permission. The court ruled that ivi improperly filed the case in Seattle to avoid being sued by broadcasters and networks in New York.

FilmOn, which followed ivi into the U.S. market, was enjoined from retransmitting most U.S. broadcast networks last year. The Seattle lawsuit was the only thing preventing the broadcast stations and networks from demanding the same relief from ivi. Now that the way is clear for a trial in New York, ivi could be enjoined from broadcasting most of its stations and networks in as little as a week.

Ivi can still argue that the U.S. Copyright Office gives it the right to retransmit broadcast signals, but most of its subscribers will drop the service while the arguments go on. It's unlikely that ivi has the financial resources to fight a drawn-out court battle, so the Seattle court's decision is likely to be the beginning of the end for ivi.
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2 comments:

Michael said...

I'm curious to know why you drew the conclusion that "most of its subscribers will drop the service while the arguments go on." Wouldn't they have dropped already? At $5.00 per month, and the freedom to cancel anytime, I don't see it. I'm also interested to know why you believe ivi doesn't have the "financial resources to fight . . ." You've drawn several completely baseless conclusions. It makes me wonder if you have a dog in this fight.

Len Feldman said...

Michael,

Since you end with your own "baseless conclusion", let's start with that. I don't "have a dog in this fight", and if you had bothered to read the other posts I've made on this and related subjects, you'd know that I have no personal interests and have kept an open mind about both ivi and FilmOn. (However, you've kept your identity secret. Do you have a financial interest in the outcome, or would you prefer not to say?)

Now. let's deal with my so-called "baseless conclusions." I suspect that a good deal of subscribers have dropped the service (including myself), and many more will as soon as an injunction is imposed. I would much prefer not to have to go to ivi or my bank and request a refund for services that the company will not be able to provide.

Finally, on to the financial resources question. The only number that I have ever seen published is that ivi has invested approximately $1 million (U.S.) in its service. That's a miniscule amount of money. The company was looking for additional financing but has made no announcements about closing any deals. Once the New York court issues an injunction, no investor who's not already involved with the company would be foolish enough to put money into the company.

Again, however, since you claim that my charges are baseless, you must have personal information about the financial condition of ivi, so why don't you go on the record? Tell me (and everyone) what resources ivi has to fight virtually every major U.S. broadcast network and media company.