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SeeSaw shut down

Plug pulled

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UK video-on-demand service SeeSaw has closed down.

Founder Arqiva, the company that owns and runs Britain's terrestrial digital TV transmission infrastructure, put SeeSaw up for sale in January 2011.

Unable to find a buyer, it announced the service's closure would take place the following June. At the eleventh hour, Arqiva pulled in a consortium of banks, venture capitalists and private equity firms to whom it sold 75 per cent of the IPTV company.

Clearly the input of new money - not to mention the appointment of one-time Channel 4 chief Michael Jackson - was not enough to ensure SeeSaw's survival.

Its website now says simply: "Thanks for your support but SeeSaw is no longer available."

Arqiva has not yet responded to our request for details

SeeSaw offered free catch-up content from the likes of the BBC and Channel 4 - some of it advertising funded; viewers could also pay to have the ads turned off - plus pay-to-view material.

All of which is fine if you're happy watching on a PC, but not if you like to view your television on a TV. SeeSaw desperately needed deals with Smart TV vendors to get its content on their products and with set-top box makers. All it drummed up was an "experimental" presence on pricey UK Boxee boxes.

Arqiva acquired what would become SeeSaw when it bought up the assets of Project Kangaroo, a joint BBC, ITV and C4 endeavour to create a standard catch-up TV platform, killed by the UK's competition regulator.

While Arqiva was using Kangaroo tech top build SeeSaw, the broadcasters created Project Canvas, later renamed YouView, to create a standard IPTV platform. ®

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