Streaming Service Aereo Files for Bankruptcy

The company plans to restructure and reorganize.

Broadcast networks were pissed that Aereo let people do this. (Facebook)

Broadcast networks were pissed that Aereo let people do this. (Facebook)

Following a series of dramatic court battles this past summer, as well as dozens of recent lay-offs, streaming service Aereo today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The service, which is funded by IAC’s Barry Diller, long butted heads with broadcast TV networks, as it used antennae to collect TV signals from the airwaves, and — for $8 per month — let users stream live TV on their Internet-connected devices.

Networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Univision and PBS claimed Aereo was violating copyright laws and stealing their content, and proceeded to take the company to court. Ultimately, things didn’t go in Aereo’s favor.

In a blog post on Aereo’s site titled “The Next Chapter,” Aereo exec Chet Kanojia explained the company’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

While we had significant victories in the federal district courts in New York and Boston and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the reversal of the Second Circuit decision in June by the U.S. Supreme Court has proven difficult to overcome. The U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo’s technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty. And while our team has focused its energies on exploring every path forward available to us, without that clarity, the challenges have proven too difficult to overcome.

Accordingly, today, we filed for Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. We also appointed Lawton Bloom of Argus to serve as Aereo’s Chief Restructuring Officer during this period.

Chapter 11 will permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts.

Mr. Kanojia went on to say that even though Aereo has filed for bankruptcy, the company is happy to have “played a significant part in pushing the conversation forward, helping force positive change in the industry for customers.”

“We feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to build something as meaningful and special as Aereo,” he wrote. “With so many shifts and advances in technology, there has never been a more perfect time to take risks, challenge the status quo and build something special.”

[h/t The Washington Post]