Aereo readies for bankruptcy auction

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 26 February 2015

Failed online TV start-up is gearing up for the bankruptcy auction of its intellectual property and hardware.

"I wouldn't be surprised if people show up with open pocketbooks," Richard Tullo, an analyst at Albert Fried & Co in New York, told Bloomberg. "DISH Network, Verizon Communications and Apple may be willing to pay millions of dollars for a piece of the technology."

Aereo is looking to sell one approved patent and 17 pending patents, as well as its disk space, server racks, electronics and office items. All in all, the sale should be worth at least $20.5 million.

It has already sold more than 6,000 blank recoding drives, recouping about $250,000.

Aereo has been shut down since the end of June when the US Supreme Court found the company in violation of copyright law for retransmitting local TV station feeds over the Internet without paying for the content. Aereo had counter-argued that because it provided dime-sized antennae to its subscribers — who paid $8 per month for access to a couple dozen channels — it should be considered an over-the-air (OTT), rabbit ears-based service, which is exempt from retrans fees. It also argued that its content was delivered to a single cloud-based DVR device for one subscriber and could therefore not be categorised as a public broadcast service, subject to fees and regulations.