TiVo Airs Out First Aereo Campaign

It didn’t take long for TiVo to put its $1 million purchase of Aereo’s customer lists and trademarks to work.

A little more than a month after a bankruptcy court cleared that deal, TiVo has started marketing its new Roamio OTA (for “over-the-air”) DVR model directly to consumers who once subscribed to Aereo’s now-defunct broadband TV and cloud DVR service.

TiVo declined to comment on the campaign and its future plans for its Aereo assets, but TiVo distributed emails (the ZatzNotFunny blog obtained a copy) to former Aereo customers offering them the four-tuner Roamio OTA DVR and a TiVo Stream — a Slingbox-like sidecar that streams live and recorded shows to mobile devices — for $19.99 per month, if they agree to a two-year commitment. TiVo’s initial Aereofocused offer was set to expire Monday (April 27).

Targeting former Aereo customers gives TiVo another sales outlet for the Roamio OTA, a model tailored for cord-cutters that regularly sells for $49.99, plus a $14.99 monthly service fee. Outside of retail, Frontier Communications is the first pay TV provider to sign a deal to offer the model to broadband subscribers. In addition to supporting over-the-air broadcast TV channels, the device can also pipe in over-the-top content from Netflix and Hulu Plus and other video streaming services.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of certain Aereo assets on March 11. RPX Corp. came away with its patents for $225,000, and Alliance Technology Solutions put up $300,000 for certain Aereo equipment.

In what will likely be the last chapter of Aereo’s brief-yet-tumultuous history, what’s left of the company revealed last week that it had reached a $950,000 agreement to settle copyright claims made by ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC and other broadcasters, well below the nearly $100 million in claims they had sought.

The settlement, dated April 20, still requires approval by the court. A hearing has been set for May 7.

Aereo, originally backed by Barry Diller, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2014. It shut down service in last June, soon after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo’s delivery of TV station signals — which relied on an array of tiny digital antennas — to subscribers without paying a copyright fee violated the law.