Looks like the streaming of network TV is about to end in Washington DC. Less than a week after ABC, NBC and Fox filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court in DC against Alki David‘s FilmOn and his Aereokiller service, the media industry provocateur says he’s pulling the broadcasters from his streaming service. “To avoid more inane lawsuits and one that is clearly rigged, we have decided to take down the Major Broadcasters in Washington DC and replace them with Independent stations. Something we are considering doing all across the country,” David said today in an open letter to broadcasters. David offers no date for when he will pull the networks from his service or any timeline. The lawsuit filed by the three networks on May 23 asked the court for an injunction to stop FilmOn and Aereokiller from being able to stream their local programming online.Last week’s lawsuit and today’s dense letter come after a game of legal ping-pong between the networks and David and Barry Diller’s similar Aereo streaming service over the past few months. Early this year, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox won an injunction to halt David’s companies from retransmitting their programming in most of the Western U.S. In February, David went after Diller. He claimed that Aereo misappropriated its company name. That suit was settled last week with David having to give up the use of Aereokiller and BarryDiller.com for his streaming service. This all comes as Diller’s Aereo plans to expand from New York and Boston to Atlanta in June and networks like Fox and CBS have talked about going to cable if they can’t beat Diller in the courts. On May 9, Senator John McCain introduced the TV Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 on the floor of the Senate. Though highly unlikely to become law given the Republicans minority status in the Senate, McCain’s bill had not so veiled threats for the networks in their battle with streaming site like Aereo and to a lesser degree FilmOn/Aereokiller. Among its provisions, the 2008 GOP Presidential nominee’s bill promised to “establish consequences if broadcasters choose to downgrade their over-the-air service.”
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