Diller Says Aereo Service Could Attract 20 Million Subscribers

Billionaire Barry Diller said the Internet TV startup Aereo Inc. he backs could attract 10 million to 20 million subscribers when it begins to market the service widely.

The company, which picks up over-the-air broadcast signals and transmits them via the Internet to subscribers who pay $8 a month, will upend the cable television business model, Diller, 71, said today at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California,

Aereo, which has so far defeated court efforts to halt the service, has expanded from New York to Boston and will be in 22 cities by the end of the year, according to Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActive Corp. Reaching 10 million to 20 million customers would let Aereo offer programing and services in competition with cable companies.

“I really believe that we’re just starting with video on the Internet, and it is going to absolutely change most things,” Diller said.“It will break up the bundled system of television.”

Diller, co-creater of the Fox Broadcast Network, said incumbent media companies are “suing us relentlessly.”

“Do not put your hand in front of a train,” Diller said, “and that’s what the Internet is.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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