SeeSaw Crunch Time: Execs Leave Amid Restructure As Channel 5 Disappears

Now is kill-or-cure time for troubled UK TV-VOD service SeeSaw, which has not received promised investment.

Platform controller John Keeling, commercial director Matt Rennie and product director Richard Dines resigned last night.

Some of 15 remaining staff are in discussion with new owner Criterion, which wants to restructure and refocus the company.

Bebo owner Criterion acquired a majority of SeeSaw from Arqiva this summer, but investment promised by Weston Capital Management to capitalise the site has still not materialised.

Now Channel Five shows have also disappeared from the site, following Channel 4’s disappearance last week, meaning SeeSaw now has no catch-up TV content.

The company has moved out of Arqiva in to a new office. Arqiva had wanted SeeSaw off its books after selling it this summer.

SeeSaw now has only old archive shows from BBC Worldwide and some independent producers. The website’s editorial highlights are not currently being updated. Chairman-designate Michael Jackson, a former BBC One controller, will not now be taking up that post, which was conditional on SeeSaw receiving its new money.

Criterion wants SeeSaw to behave more like a technology-centric startup and wants to cut costs. SeeSaw has been unprofitable.

But, without content to show, its audience could dry up, along with its advertising and the few paid subscriptions it had.

The technology behind SeeSaw, developed by Ioko, is still considered sound. Criterion acquired SeeSaw intending to buy up new content rights in future, including some U.S. content.

Without money to renew licenses for domestic UK TV shows, the time for SeeSaw technology to be redeployed in a different market may be coming nearer.