Court OKs Aereo Asset Sale

TiVo Gets Trademarks, Customer Lists For About $1M

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of certain assets of defunct online TV/cloud DVR company Aereo on March 11, with TiVo coming away with Aereo’s trademarks and customer lists for about $1 million.

The court also approved the sale of Aereo’s patents to RPX Corp. for $225,000, and the sale of Aereo equipment to Alliance Technology Solutions for $300,000, according to The  Wall Street Journal.

TiVo is expected to use Aereo’s customer lists to pitch the Roamio OTA, a new CableCARD-free model that mixes over-the-air broadcast with over-the-top content from sources such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. TiVo, which is also aiming to distribute the Roamio OTA with MVPD partners such as Frontier Communications, hasn’t announced how it intends to use Aereo’s trademarks.

"TiVo has always innovated to meet the constantly changing ways TV audiences choose to access content,” Tom Rogers, TiVo’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “This strategic acquisition of Aereo's trademarks and customer lists will enhance our ability to serve the growing segment of consumers who want access to both broadcast television and over the top content. TiVo has found success in providing a more comprehensive offering and sophisticated user experience than any other player in the marketplace and we look forward to expanding on that success."

In all, Aereo raised less than $2 million via the auction, acknowledging earlier that it was a disappointing result. Elements of Aereo’s technology remain unsold, and Aereo intend to explore opportunities to sell those assets at a later date, a person familiar with the process told Multichannel News in late February before the court approved the current asset sale. 

But Aereo, the Barry Diller-backed startup that filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization  last November and shut down the service last June,  is still battling. It filed a lawsuit in on Monday (March 9) claiming that persistent pressure and interference from major broadcasters chilled the auction, which intended to raise money for Aereo’s creditors.

Those broadcasters, Aereo claimed, “have aggressively pursued litigation strategies that are objectively baseless and intended only to injure the debtor.”