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UK VOD Strugglers Shake-Out: YouView Chair, SeeSaw CEO Out

The UK’s two main industry VOD ventures to have emerged from public broadcasting are turning over some of their top staff…

A month after its launch was delayed to at least early 2012, the chair of the UK’s YouView connected-TV consortium is leaving.

It’s not that the job of Kip Meek, who started steering the BBC-ITV-C4-Five-TalkTalk-BT-Arqiva venture in July 2010, is complete – the company has appointed a replacement chairman, The Apprentice‘s no-nonsense star Sir Alan Sugar, who founded set-top box maker Amstrad before it was sold to BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) in 2007.

Meanwhile, the CEO of SeeSaw, a catch-up TV service run by terrestrial transmission infrastructure company Arqiva, is leaving, C21 first reported and the parent confirmed to paidContent:UK. Pierre-Jean Sebert’s exit comes because Arqiva recently merged its three divisions in to two, meaning SeeSaw now sits in a broadcast-and-media unit, run by Nick Thompson.

SeeSaw was created when Arqiva bought up the technology built by the proposed Kangaroo commercial VOD consortium of BBC, ITV (LSE: ITV) and C4, which was ordered to shut down on competition grounds prior to launch by the Competition Commission.

A couple of years ago, the idea of a single web TV aggregator had legs. But SeeSaw has suffered because broadcasters are keener to run catch-up and reap video ads on their own websites.

SeeSaw will not disclose its traffic figures, but the site doesn’t figure high in the list of online video destinations. Arqiva is seeking an investor to help it run SeeSaw, or to offload it to.

2 Responses to “UK VOD Strugglers Shake-Out: YouView Chair, SeeSaw CEO Out”

  1. Antony Watts

    YouView is dead before birth. No one wants another closed system Set-Top-Box.

    What we want is streams that we can receive on our PCs via broadband, and distributed in the home by WiFi. Think YouTube.

  2. Chris R.

    VOD is a possibly structurally flawed concept. By the time it’s rolled out the audience is on Facebook and Twitter and the only hold on them is with classic, usually very high quality, programmes. These programmes only have a certain number of times that they can be seen. The new content, rolled out on VOD, has much less chance of gaining attention with the FB/Twitter oriented public.

    They’ve gone…
    They’re on social networks, watching clips via links and postings. Some are mashing up stuff and reposting it and that content is taking eyeballs away from the VOD..

    Just a perspective…