Injunction knocks most channels off ivi.TV

Gavel falling hardThe last show I watched on ivi.TV was Jeopardy, the episode where the two best players of all time lost to an expert system created by IBM. Sure, I checked ivi every day to make sure it was still there, but that historic occasion was the last time I sat down to watch it. And now, thanks to a US District Judge’s preliminary injunction handed down Tuesday, I’ll probably never watch Jeopardy on ivi again.

To its credit, ivi vows to appeal the ruling, and it’s limping along (for free!) with Trinity Broadcasting and a few other odd channels. But the odds of seeing distant broadcast network channels look very weak. You can lose the injunction and win the case, but that’s not the way to bet.

(Speaking of limping along, those irrepressible FilmOn folks keep on streaming their own oddball set of channels. FilmOn’s channel list includes Retro TV, Tuff TV, PBS Hawaii, Fashion TV, ion, parts(?) of WPIX and KTLA, and a few others. But none of the British channels it dangled before us at its launch. FilmOn wants $9.95/month for that motley collection, or $19.95/month for that set plus six “adult” channels. That’s all too pricy for me. but you can take a look to see what you think.)

From a free-to-air TV perspective, we’ve had a great run with the ivi broadcast channels. We had dozens of streaming channels for half a year, all for about the price of a replacement LNB. These channels never felt permanent to me; with so many deep-pocketed players against them, I’m surprised they lasted as long as they did. In the end, it seems appropriate that my last memory of the “old” ivi will be of highly skilled humans beaten by a multinational corporation.