Aereo assets fetch under $2m

The assets of OTT TV service Aereo have been sold to three buyers for a combined sum of under US$2 million.

AereoThis effectively brings to an end the story of Aereo, which went up against the US broadcasters in court over the right to stream their broadcast signals and lost last year.

Television technology company TiVo paid US$1 million for Aereo’s trademarks, domain names, and customer lists, while Alliance Technology Solutions took equipment for US$320,000 and RPX Corp. bought Aereo’s patents for US$225,000.

“We are very disappointed with the results of the auction,” said William Baldiga, counsel for Aereo and partner at Brown Rudnick. “This has been a very difficult sales process and the results reflect that.”

Eleven bids – five for the intangibles TiVo acquired and six for tangibles – were received by the company’s administrators.

Broadcasters ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were last year able to convince US judges Aereo’s business model – charging consumers a monthly fee for retransmitted OTT streams of the networks’ signals – was in breach of law. Aereo was subsequently shut down and placed into administration.

Aereo had previously raised US$100 million from investors, but this week’s auction means its legal issued ultimately put paid to that value. In fact, the amont raised is less than half the US$4 million needed to pay creditors, and a huge way short of the US$31 million Aereo estimated it could recoup.

Aereo had rolled out in various US cities after winning initial court judgments against the broadcasters that suggested it was similar to cloud-DVR systems.

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