NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Aereo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means its assets are likely for sale.
Having been shutdown by the Supreme Court in June, Aereo was left with a network of tiny antennas which functioned simultaneously to retransmit over-the-air broadcast signals to its customers. The technology allowed subscribers to bypass traditional cable operators and watch TV for as little as $8 a month. Broadcasters complained the company was in effect stealing their programming.
Aereo executives weren't immediately available to comment. But the network may be worth buying for a start-up or even one of the media companies that fought its technology and business model. In its Chapter 11 filing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York the company, based in Boston, listed assets of $20.5 million and debt of $4.2 million.
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One possible buyer: Aereo's chief sponsor, IAC Interactive (IACI) Chairman Barry Diller, who was always more than an Aereo defender. Just prior to the Supreme Court's ruling, he lashed out at its critics for charging that the company was stealing private property. IAC wasn't immediately available for comment.
"I'm really tired of being accused of stealing anyone else's programming when we're not and I'd never be part of any service that was doing so," Diller said in an April conference call with investors. "We are no more stealing programming than the person who puts up an antenna to receive the signals he's entitled to receive. Kind of obnoxious for broadcasters to take away the signals they promised the public that they could receive directly simply because they want to squeeze every dollar they can from consumers."