US TV streaming company Aereo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. In an open letter to consumers on its website, Aereo said that it had encountered “significant challenges from the incumbent media companies”, referring to a lawsuit filed against the company earlier this year by broadcasters in the US (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 26). The group alleged that Aereo’s service was illegally re-transmitting programmes without paying for them, a claim which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Aereo claimed that the court’s decision effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo’s technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty. The company has appointed Lawton Bloom of Argus to serve as chief restructuring officer while Aereo reorganises its business. Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, said, “Chapter 11 will permit Aereo to maximise the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts”.