According to the Hollywood Reporter, after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Aereo auctioned off its assets last week, in an effort to recover funds to repay $4.2 million of various liabilities. Interestingly, no one bought the infamous antennas that were the heart of Aereo’s business model. Rather RPX Corporation bought the company’s patents for $225,000; Alliance Technology Solutions purchased some equipment for $320,000; and most notably TiVo spent $1 million on Aereo’s trademarks, customer lists, and domain names.
Apparently, TiVo has been working on a system very similar to Aereo’s. According to Forbes, the product, called TiVo Stream, will allow TiVo customers to watch programs on their laptops and mobile phones, that are recorded on their physical DVRs in their homes. TiVo also has the means to negotiate deals with broadcasters for licenses to stream their programs in order to make this product a reality. This avoids Aereo’s copyright infringement issues that caused its ultimate demise. Further, the customer lists will prove invaluable, if and when the system is finished, in targeting consumers. In this way, the company will not waste money marketing to uninterested individuals.
But why purchase the Aereo trademark and domain name? According to Forbes, if TiVo launches this program under the Aereo name, it will generate a lot of free publicity.
So as more and more consumers watch television online, will DVR boxes become a relic from the past? And will we see Aereo’s name appearing in the papers again soon? Stay tuned…