Aereo to Pay Broadcasters $950,000 Over Copyright Claims

The online-TV service filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last November

Last Updated: April 22, 2015 @ 2:14 AM

Having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November, Aereo Inc. has agreed to pay CBS Corp. and other broadcasters $950,000 over copyright claims totaling more than $99 million.

The deal to pay less than a penny on the dollar would resolve all litigation among the companies, including Aereo’s lawsuit accusing the broadcasters of intentionally botching its asset auction, according to a filing Monday in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan, reported Bloomberg Business.

It will leave Aereo with $811,000 to pay non-broadcast creditors with claims totaling $7.5 million, the company said.

“In the absence of settlement, there is a likelihood of expensive, protracted litigation that will likely consume the debtor’s limited remaining funds,” Aereo said in the filing on Tuesday.

According to the filing, CBS’s claims will total $27.8 million; Walt Disney Co.’s ABC will have a claim of $17.7 million, and 21st Century Fox Inc.’s claim is more than $26 million.

In February, Aereo sold its patents, hardware and other assets for less than $2 million, a fraction of what it originally was priced at.

Aereo’s online-TV service — which launched in more than a dozen U.S. cities — did not sit well with traditional broadcasters and media companies, which battled it via litigation and in the press. But ultimately it was the Supreme Court that brought the forward-thinking company down last year.

“The U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo’s technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty,” CEO Chet Kanojia said after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“And while our team has focused its energies on exploring every path forward available to us, without that clarity, the challenges have proven too difficult to overcome.”