aereo

Sold out: Aereo runs out of capacity in New York

Jan. 31, 2014 at 5:40 PM ET

Aereo, the controversial online-TV service that's being sued by all the major broadcast networks, is so popular in New York that it has stopped adding customers.

"Thanks for your interest in Aereo! We are currently sold out in New York," the Aereo website tells interested potential customers from the New York metropolitan area.

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A representative from the company told DSL Reports' Karl Bode that the situation was only temporary.

"Our team has been working overtime to add more capacity in our existing markets," Bode said he was told via email. "As soon as additional capacity is added, new consumers will be notified that they can sign up and create an Aereo account."

"Yes, we are sold out," Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said on Twitter in response to inquiries. "Will reopen as we get more capacity deployed."

Strong sales are welcomed by any business, but with the Super Bowl less than two days away, it's a heck of a time for Aereo to run out of room.

"We've had strong growth, so we're working to add more capacity to serve more consumers," the Aereo representative told Bode, but she wouldn't give him a time frame.

Aereo skirts broadcast regulations by "renting" each subscriber, who pays at least $8 monthly, a tiny antenna in a vast array of TV antennas picking up over-the-air broadcast signals. 

The company streams both real-time broadcasts and recorded broadcasts to its subscribers over the Internet, and the service works on Macs, PCs and Linux computers, as well as on Apple TV, Roku boxes and iOS and Android devices.

The service is available in 11 United States broadcast markets, and the company plans to add more soon.

Last year, a federal appeals court ruled in Aereo's favor and against the broadcast networks suing it, stating that Aereo’s business model did not constitute copyright infringement. (NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, is among the litigants.) The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. 

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