Imagine being able to watch live TV, from anywhere, on any device.
Sounds too good to be true. Because it is.
We’re not quite there yet, but we might get there at some point, thanks to major companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft battling to own the living room, but also thanks to nimbler companies like, well, NimbleTV and IAC-backed Aereo.
NimbleTV emerged in April 2012, to much fanfare we might add, promising to enable customers to record and stream content from a variety of cable television channels to their smartphone, tablet, PC or Internet-connected TV sets wherever they go, whenever they want.
A regulatory filing reveals that NimbleTV is raising a $6 million round, of which $4 million has already been closed, to make good on its tempting ‘TV everywhere’ promise. Then again, it also promised to launch to the public this Summer, according to various reports …
Anyway: NimbleTV earlier raised $1,75 million according to SEC filings, and the NYT reported earlier that the New York startup counts the Tribune Company and VC firms like Greycroft Partners and Tribeca Venture Partners among its backers.
NimbleTV says it will eventually offer the same functionality as a Slingbox set-top box and DVR recorders, but sans the actual boxes.
A fair and convenient way to stream television channels you already pay for to portable devices you’ve also paid for, in other words. Sounds great, right?
The question is: will cable TV networks ever let such goodness fly?
You may remember that Aereo, also a New York startup, launched earlier this year to a limited set of users and was promptly sued by a consortium of network broadcasters including NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS, who sought a preliminary injunction against the company alleging that it does not have any rights to the copyrighted content it transmits. The broadcasters lost that round, but the future remains to be seen.
According to the aforementioned NYT article, even NimbleTV’s investors don’t believe it will able to do so, and in fact, the company securing additional financing may set off even more alarm bells over at the networks.
My educated guess? Expect some lawsuits to be filed soon.