Aereo Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The digital TV service made a voluntary filing for bankruptcy protection citing "regulatory and legal uncertainty"

Digital TV service Aereo on Friday said it has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The digital TV service, which broadcast network owners battled in courts for offering access to broadcast TV signals via digital devices, made a voluntary Chapter 11 filing, it said in a statement on its website. "We encountered significant challenges from the incumbent media companies," said CEO Chet Kanojia in the statement.

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A court injection recently shut down the service after it lost a high-profile Supreme Court case in June.

"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," he wrote. "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."

Added the CEO: "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."

Arguing that Aereo had a "long and challenging road," Kanojia concluded: "We stayed true to our mission, and we believe that we have played a significant part in pushing the conversation forward, helping force positive change in the industry for consumers."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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