PBS, other broadcasters suing TV programming provider ivi

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Several major broadcasters, including PBS, and other content providers filed a lawsuit in New York federal district court against ivi TV on Tuesday (Sept. 28), alleging copyright infringement, reports Broadcasting & Cable. ivi sells an app that allows subscribers to watch programming as broadcast from various stations for $4.99 a month. It says it can do so because it is an online cable provider but does not fall under the definition of a cable system as far as the need to negotiate retransmission consent from individual stations. The signals from WNET/Thirteen in New York City and KCTS in Seattle are being broadcast by ivi, which uses a teaser on its website that says, “Watch the Berenstain Bears on PBS!” An ivi spokesman told Current that it’s adding new markets every 45 days, with Los Angeles and Chicago next. WNET and WGBH were signatories in recent cease and desist letters to Ivi.