Aereo registers lobbyist as it seeks new classification

The online TV company Aereo registered an in-house lobbyist on Tuesday, as it makes a push to relaunch and be classified like other cable and satellite providers. 

Virginia Lam, who has handled communications for the company, registered to lobby this week on "issues pertaining to antennas, broadcast television and television access online."


She is senior vice president for communications and government affairs for the company. 

Aereo is an online TV company that uses a series of small antennas to pick up broadcast signals and stream them to people's online devices for a subscription fee. It halted its operation earlier this year, after the Supreme Court ruled in June that its model violated copyright law by not paying fees to broadcasters, which is required of other cable and satellite companies. 

Lam and others at the company met with officials last week at the Federal Communications Commission to push the agency to expand the definition of "multichannel video programming distributors" (MVPD), which includes video service providers like cable and satellite companies. 

Aereo wants its business model to fit into that definition. 

"As a company, we have always worked hard to follow the law. Should the FCC move on this issue, it would be a meaningful and important step forward for competition in the video marketplace," Chet Kanojia, the company's CEO said in a blog post this week. 

In the past, the company has used the firm Bingham McCutchen LLP for its lobbying effort dating back to 2012, spending a little more than $800,000 since then.