The new owner of SeeSaw has run into difficulty hitting a deadline to secure multimillion-pound funding and has lost a key content deal with Channel 4, meaning shows such as The Inbetweeners and Skins are no longer available on the online TV service.
Criterion Capital Partners, which also owns former AOL (NYSE: AOL) asset Bebo, took a 75% stake in SeeSaw from owner Arqiva in a deal that was completed in early July.
As part of the deal Criterion was required to raise a multimillion-pound round of funding to drive the rejuvenation of SeeSaw and set up its 28 staff in new headquarters.
Merchant bank Criterion is best known for its acquisition of social networking site Bebo from AOL in June 2010.
The internal financial deadline set for securing the funding round has now come down to the wire. It is understood the deadline was extended in the past few days.
Part of Criterion’s plan to bring the struggling online TV venture to profitability – Arqiva acquired the assets of what was Project Kangaroo, the video-on-demand joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV (LSE: ITV) and Channel 4 scotched by competition regulators – was to renegotiate nearly 20 programme content deals.
SeeSaw has so far been unsuccessful in renegotiating its deal with Channel 4, a key partner that provided shows including Peep Show, The Inbetweeners, Skins and Grand Designs. Channel 4 content is currently unavailable on SeeSaw.
“It has not been an easy transition,” said one source. “I think it’s fair to say that.”
A spokesman for SeeSaw declined to comment.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.