Aereo Auction Raises Less Than $2 Million

TiVo Comes Away With Aereo Trademark, Customer Lists
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Aereo, the OTT-TV/cloud DVR startup that was shut down by the Supreme Court, raised less than $2 million at auction – millions less than what it had hoped to raise through the process.

The auction, which began on February 24 and wrapped up on February 25, essentially sold Aereo for its various parts, including individual technologies and its intellectual property.

TiVo was the winning bidder for Aereo’s trademark, customer lists and certain other assets. Update: "We have OTA products and see some value in these assets," said Steve Wymer, TiVo's vice president of corporate affairs and communications. Among those products is the Roamio OTA DVR, a model primarily for cord-cutters that mixes access to broadcast TV and over-the-top content. 

Additionally, RPX Corp., a self-described provider of "patent risk services," nabbed Aereo’s patent portfolio, and Alliance Technologies came away with Aereo’s equipment. Other elements of Aereo’s technology was not sold, but Aereo intend to explore opportunities to sell those assets at a later date, according to a person familiar with the process. A hearing to approve the auction sale is scheduled for March 11. 

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

The amount raised in the auction was far less than the $4 million to $31.2 million New York-based Aereo had hoped to gain from the process, according to Bloomberg.

Additional pressure applied by broadcasters during the bankruptcy sale might have had a chilling effect on the bidding process.

Aereo, whose platform relied on tiny antennas to provide subs with remote access to over-the-air digital TV signals, filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York last November. Aereo, which had raised $97 million in funding had about 108,000 subscribers when it shut down the service last June, took that course  following a Supreme Court ruling that found that Aereo’s delivery of TV stations signals to subscribers without paying a copyright fee violates the law.

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