Tags: Aereo | bankruptcy

TV Streaming Service Aereo Files for Bankruptcy

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 07:14 AM

Television startup Aereo, which lost a US Supreme Court test of its system to bypass cable with tiny, personalized antennas, announced Friday it was filing for bankruptcy protection.

The filing in New York federal court "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," the company said in a statement.

Aereo's case became a high-profile test of technology that could have dealt a major blow to cable and satellite television by delivering over-the-air programs via the Internet through individual antennas, for a fee.

The Supreme Court in June ruled 6-3 that Aereo violated US copyright laws, opening it up to massive liability from the major broadcast networks.

Aereo's chief executive Chet Kanojia said the court ruling "effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo's technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty," and added that following the decision, "the challenges have proven too difficult to overcome."

Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, launched in early 2012 in the New York area and was immediately sued by the major over-the-air television broadcast networks -- ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox -- for copyright infringement.

Even though consumers may watch broadcast television for free with their own antennas, a cable or satellite firm which retransmits to a larger group must pay fees to broadcasters.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the Supreme Court's majority opinion that Aereo effectively operates like a cable company and must therefore pay for broadcast rights.

A decision for Aereo could have disrupted the business model for broadcasters and their partners in cable and satellite.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Television streaming service Aereo Inc filed for bankruptcy protection after a U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the company's business model violated copyright laws.
Aereo, bankruptcy
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2014-14-21
Friday, 21 Nov 2014 07:14 AM
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