SeeSaw video-on-demand site shuts down after 2 years

31/10/2011

UK TV-on-demand website SeeSaw, has been closed down afer failing to renew content licenses. The website had been online less than two years, offering content from BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Channel Five and several production companies. A group of investors led by Criterion Capital Partners took a majority stake in the business in July. CCP also owns the social network Bebo.

31/10/2011

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SeeSaw was created by the media services company, Arqiva, in February 2010. It used assets from the aborted catch-up TV platform, Project Kangeroo, which had been rejected by the UK's competition regulator.

It offered a range of free-to-watch programmes supported by advertising, with an optional fee to turn the adverts off. It also had premium pay-to-watch shows.

The company said it intended to extend the service beyond TVs to set-top boxes and games consoles. However, it only ever managed a "test service" on the Boxee internet TV device.

In January this year Arqiva put the service up for "strategic review", leading to the sale of a 75% stake six months later.

The San Francisco based investor, Criterion Capital Partners, became the new majority stakeholder.

Channel 4's former chief executive, Michael Jackson, was announced as the firm's new chairman designate. However reports suggest he walked away from the post in September shortly after Channel 4 pulled its content.

Channel Five removed its shows around a fortnight later.

The US film and TV service Netflix announced earlier this week that it will launch a streaming service in the UK in 2012. US retailer Amazon is also investing in its rival LoveFilm product, and YouTube launched its UK film rental platform earlier this month.

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