Online TV VOD aggregation service SeeSaw has been officially saved from threatened closure following the completion of a takeover headed by private equity firm Criterion Capital Partners.
The private equity firm headed a team of investors reportedly including former executives from Disney and Arqiva who is said to be taking a 25% stake in the new venture which will continue to be based in London.
The acquisition brings to Criterion over the top (OTT) VOD content from UK broadcasters ITV and Channel 4. It had also spent £8 million acquiring the assets of BBC Worldwide’s ill-fated Project Kangaroo.
SeeSaw had run a mixed business model with over 3000 hours' worth of free content plus 1000 hours of paid for material including programmes from MTV and NBC Universal.
SeeSaw is the latest in a series of video assets for the venture firm and will be added to a rapidly growing roster of digital TV and film services across Europe including the Bebo VOD service in the US which Criterion bought from AOL in a deal reputed to be worth $10 million. No figure has yet been revealed for the SeeSaw acquisition but analysts are speculating it will exceed what was paid to acquire AOL.
What has been disclosed is that the new SeeSaw will be headed by former Channel 4 chief and ex-controller of BBC1 and BBC2 Michael Jackson.
"We are thrilled to bring SeeSaw into our portfolio, not just because of the industrial strength of its technology but because it is perfectly suited for the next wave of television viewing currently upon us," Criterion chief Adam Levin commented.