SeeSaw, the online TV catchup service that offers free and paid-for content to viewers has been saved from "imminent closure" after Arqiva, the company behind the service, has found a consortium of investors to boost life back in to the service. The main company behind the deal are the current owners of the social network Bebo, Criterion Capital Partners, who will take a majority stake. They have appointed Michael Jackson, previous controller at BBC One, BBC Two and former Chief Executive of Channel4, to take up the role of Chairman effective immediately.
SeeSaw started life as Project Kangaroo, a collaboration project between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to offer catch-up TV and on-demand TV content through a combined web portal. The Competition Commission blocked the proposal, and the technology behind the project was sold off to Arqiva who launched their own service as SeeSaw. The collaboration partners then went on to form Project Canvas (along with Arqiva and other partners), a similar proposal, but one that will bring the content direct to TV through a set-top box which will be marketed as YouView.
"The TV industries in the U.K. and abroad will continue to be reshaped in ways no one can quite predict, however it is clear that web-delivered programming will play a vital role in that transformation. The technology behind SeeSaw is world class and the group behind the bid has a great mix of entrepreneurial and industry experience."Michael Jackson, (newly appointed Chairman) SeeSaw
Arqiva will continue to hold at 25% stake in SeeSaw. As for the future, the paid programming is currently offline, but are due to be back on the site soon. The free content is still available to see, and there will likely be future changes to the service in the future.
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