Five months after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo’s technology violated TV networks’ copyright laws, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy protection.
On Aereo’s website, CEO Chet Kanojia wrote this on a letter to customers:
“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.”
On November 21, Aereo filed for Chapter 11 “to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts.”
According to a Bloomberg story, an auction for Aereo’s assets should be scheduled for February 17, 2015.
Time’s Deputy Tech Editor Alex Fitzpatrick, who expressed support of the tech company’s innovation in the industry, suggests an alternative to its liquidation: a TV network should buy Aereo.
In an article for Time, Fitzpatrick reasons that “as more people cut the cord and switch to on-demand services like Netflix and HBO Go…cable television will slowly die out — and take those lucrative retransmission fees with them as it goes…More broadcasters should realize that cable TV is the past, not the future. And what better, bolder move to make than buying Aereo?”
“The broadcast networks used the courts to pummel Aereo into submission, suing a potential industry disruptor out of existence,” he writes. “But instead of walking away smiling, those broadcasters should realize Aereo only foreshadowed a massive industry shakeup that will change everything about television.”