Barry Diller and IAC Back Aereo to Bring Live TV to Mobile Devices

2/15/12Follow @jpruth

In a world increasingly distracted by mobile devices, television broadcasters are searching for new ways to keep their shows in front of the audience. Rather than fight the mobile trend, TV station owners such as Hearst Television plan to bring their content to handheld devices in the somewhat near future. However, New York-based IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), an Internet heavyweight whose businesses include Ask.com, Match.com, and The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company, has a different approach: it is getting in on the action by funding the developers of a technology that could shake up the entire television market.

On Tuesday morning IAC chairman Barry Diller introduced Aereo, an Internet-based television service his company has backed in a $20.5 million Series A funding round. In addition to IAC, prior investors FirstMark Capital, High Line Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Highland Capital Partners, and others also participated in the round. Thus far Aereo has raised $25 million in total funding. The company was founded in 2011 as Bamboom Labs; it is headquartered in Long Island City with a development team based in Boston.

Diller spoke at the event at IAC’s headquarters in the Chelsea section of New York about the evolution happening in the television market as social networking and other services are brought to the family room. “I’ve always thought this alternative distribution method through the Internet would be a healthy thing as media [became] concentrated,” he said. Diller described Aereo’s technology as a way to radically transform the way … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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