Aereo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after months of grasping at straws in attempts to stay afloat following its loss to cable giants in the Supreme Court this June. Aereo says that the proceedings will allow it "to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn-out litigation in several courts." Aereo doesn't state whether it hopes to emerge from the proceedings, but it doesn't seem like there are many places it can go from here.
"We have traveled a long and challenging road."
Aereo's primary service, which allowed people to record and stream broadcast TV online, was found to violate the Copyright Act, and because it isn't a cable provider, it can't easily switch up its business model and become a properly licensed station either. Key people at Aereo have been pretty clear that a Supreme Court loss would mean the end of the company, and that appears to be what we're seeing.
Chet Kanojia, Aereo's CEO, wrote what by and large feels like a farewell post on the company's website today, too. It quickly runs through the history of Aereo, from its potential as an innovator and its immediate legal troubles to its final Supreme Court battle. "The challenges have proven too difficult to overcome," Kanojia writes, before detailing the company's plans for Chapter 11. He continues, "We have traveled a long and challenging road. 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." And perhaps that's true — even in the wake of Aereo's demise, we're still seeing more TV head online, including from some of its biggest opponents.