Bebo owners have snapped up SeeSaw

July 14, 2011

It seems that online TV service SeeSaw will live to fight another day.

At the end of May, it seemed the SeeSaw ride had finally come to an end when Arqiva announced that it was going to close the service at the end of June as part of an “ongoing strategic review”.

Then late last month came the news that Criterion Capital Partners, the outfit that snapped up an ailing Bebo for a song, were poised to pull a similar move on SeeSaw.

And just before last weekend, SeeSaw posted on its blog: “We just wanted to let you know that despite our previous announcement, we are still up and running… The team at SeeSaw Towers has been working really hard to keep things going… No doubt we will be back with more news soon.”

And now it’s been confirmed that Criterion has indeed put its wallet where its mouth was, stumping up to lead a consortium of buyers, and securing a controlling stake in the online TV service.

Arqiva itself has kept a 25% share of the business, with the price of the deal being estimated by some sources at around £10 million.

It’s good news for SeeSaw fans, many of whom had been very disappointed when the announcement of its closure came.

SeeSaw was built using the technology crafted by Project Kangaroo, and it employed a mixture of paid-for content and ad-supported services to drive its revenue.

Exactly what changes will be made under the new ownership isn’t clear at this stage, although it seems the intention is to keep the same staff on to a large extent.

Michael Jackson, an ex-controller of BBC1 and BBC2, and also an ex-chief exec of Channel 4, will be SeeSaw’s new Chairman, so that sounds like a good start.


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