It’s official: Criterion buys SeeSaw

Criterion Capital Partners is announcing Wednesday that it has bought SeeSaw.com, a site that aspired to become U.K.’s Hulu but was close to being shut down just six weeks ago. SeeSaw’s past is troubled, but Criterion is nonetheless willing to make a bet on its future.

Why Did SeeSaw, Britain’s Hulu, Really Fail?

British TV on demand site SeeSaw was meant to be a transatlantic rival to Hulu — but after launching last year, it has pulled the plug. The reasons? Political turmoil and competitive pressure that was exploited by rivals like Rupert Murdoch.

UK Hulu-Wannabe SeeSaw Shutting Down

U.K.-based online video aggregator SeeSaw announced it’s shutting down, just 16 months after being launched to bring together video assets from Channel 4 and ITV. The shutdown happened after it failed to click with viewers or effectively compete with services from its content partners.

Vid-Biz: Viacom-YouTube, Comcast-NBCU, SeeSaw

Today on the Net: more documents are unsealed in the Viacom-YouTube copyright infringement suit, the FCC is seeking more information from Comcast about what its NBC Universal deal will mean for the online video industry, and SeeSaw has launched a premium paid service

Vid-Biz: Brightcove, Rovi, The Filter

Brightcove Expands Global Media Reach, Lands Japan’s Nikkei; the online video platform company announced it will provide video services to the Nikkei, Japan’s largest business newspaper. (Beet.TV)
Rovi Pulls Out of GuideWorks Venture with Comcast; Comcast has become the sole owner of interactive program guide firm GuideWorks, as Rovi announced Monday that it has exited the joint venture with the operator. (Multichannel News)
The Filter’s Recommendation Service Taken on by Dailymotion; the Peter Gabriel-backed company has signed on Dailymotion for its white-label recommendation service. (paidContent)
Vudu Rolls Out Social Features; Vudu will update your Facebook or Twitter status with your impressions of the movie you’re watching, and allow friends with Vudu to also join in and watch the same movie. (Engadget)
Sorenson Media Offers Access to 360 API; the company announced it was making its Sorenson 360 API available to developers to enable them to cut development time for websites with full video functionality. (Fierce Online Video)
Comcast Beefs Up iPhone App; the cable company has added a feature to its iPhone and iTouch app that lets customers program their DVRs remotely — but not all of the MSO’s customer homes will get it right away. (Light Reading Cable)
SeeSaw Begins £5M Advertising Campaign; The newly launched online TV service, SeeSaw, has started a £5 million advertising scheme to introduce the U.K. viewing public to the new free-to-view online TV service. (TechWatch)

Hands On with Seesaw: A First Look at the U.K.’s Hulu Wannabe

British TV fans have long been jealous of Hulu.com. Granted, the BBC’s excellent iPlayer offers lots of on-demand programming for U.K.-based online video fans, but it only serves up shows from the last seven days, and it doesn’t have any content from the BBC’s competitors. Enter Seesaw, a new online video site for TV content that opened up its beta test to UK viewers a few days ago.
Seesaw rose from the ashes of a previously-planed online video platform codenamed Kangaroo, and it aims to be something like a U.K. version of Hulu. However, its licensing structure is unusual, and its catalog is fairly small. With these limitations, how does it fare against Hulu? We decided to give Seesaw a ride.
Read More about Hands On with Seesaw: A First Look at the U.K.’s Hulu Wannabe