By Sahil Patel
Aereo, the internet-TV startup that tried to bring you broadcast television over the web, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
“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,” said CEO Chet Kanojia in a statement.
Since its launch in 2012, Aereo had been mired in a legal battle with broadcasters over the legality of its service. The company used mini-antennas to stream over-the-air TV signals to consumers across a range of devices. Broadcasters argued that Aereo needed to pay retransmission fees to do this, while Aereo countered that it was protected under the Copyright Act.
While winning the first crop of legal battles, the US Supreme Court eventually sided with the broadcasters, which put Aereo on a track to where it is today. Its been dealt a series of blows since the Supreme Court ruling, culminating in the decision to lay off most of its staff earlier this month.
Aereo has hired Argus Management’s Lawton Bloom as chief restructuring officer. The company had raised close to $100 million from a group of investors that included Barry Diller and FirstMark Capital.