SeeSaw is no more, with the website now displaying a simple message saying, “Thanks for your support but SeeSaw is no longer available.” Thankfully the U.K. is being targeted as the next market to move into by other services.
The last few months have seen SeeSaw live up to its name. First it was being shut, then it saved by a last minute injection of cash, and now it has actually shut because that promised injection of cash from new investors never actually materialized.
This is in stark contrast to the service’s beginnings, which promised much. When Arqiva acquired the infrastructure of the dead Project Kangaroo things were looking good, with the U.K. getting its own Hulu-like service filled with old and new content from multiple broadcasters. But a lack of interest from both broadcasters and viewers eventually ended with SeeSaw dying just two years after its inception.
June of this year saw Arqiva planning to shut SeeSaw due to a lack of funding, viewers, and content. But July saw a consortium of investors led by Criterion Capital Partners acquire the service and give it a second life. The idea was to invest in content and try to turn SeeSaw into a profitable venture.
Unfortunately that never happened, with one of the consortium, Weston Capital Management, being blamed. PaidContent suggests that Weston failed to deliver its promised investment, and that meant the whole house of cards began tumbling. First Channel 4 pulled its content from the site, before Five followed suit. Without content there is no service to speak of, so the end became an inevitability.
So, SeeSaw is dead, and that’s a shame. The problem was there was little reason to watch shows on SeeSaw rather than on the broadcasters’ own individual websites. Both the BBC iPlayer and 4oD (Channel 4 on demand) are supremely good services.
The U.K. is still set to be the battleground for a streaming fight, with Netflix looking to launch in the new year. This will put it at war with the Amazon-owned Lovefilm.
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