One year ago, ivi.tv launched its disruptive, revolutionary service of providing distant over-the-air signals via the internet. For months, it satisfied my craving to time-shift programs, to watch OTA sub-channels that haven’t made it to my market, and to generally see what other people get to watch. Then the big-money networks managed to get a preliminary injunction to shut down that OTA redistribution pending the resolution of their lawsuit against ivi.
Now CEO Todd Weaver is raising money to keep ivi’s court fight going. You can go to ivi’s fund-raiser site and chip in a few dollars or more. In return, you’ll get recognition, some free service if ivi.tv starts operating again, or maybe even a cool coffee mug like this one. (I bought it separately from CafePress several months ago. Now I can’t find it there, but I did find another page with T-shirts, tote bags, and a different ivi mug for sale.)
In general, you might want to bookmark ivi’s blog, where Weaver writes about ivi developments and mentions in the press. For example, it has links to August articles in Multichannel News and Forbes. (I tweeted both of those links, but didn’t mention them before in this blog.)
As I type, the ivi.tv platform is still operating, but shows only two free channels and two pay channels with limited audiences. They never listen to me, but I keep saying that ivi would be better off if they carried as many channels as they could. If you look at other over-the-top services, you’ll see dozens of other networks that apparently don’t mind being carried this way. If ivi lumped together 20-30 of the best channels, such as NASA HD, and charged maybe $2/month, they’d get some cash flow and we’d have another way to watch. And if ivi added dark placeholders for the OTA channels it could carry again with a little court or government help, that would remind us viewers that we could help the good old days return.