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SeeSaw sold to Criterion Media Group

Ex-BBC exec Jackson named chairman

U.K. video-on-demand service SeeSaw has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by Criterion Media Group, a division of L.A. bank Criterion Capital Partners which owns social network Bebo.com.

The acquisition, led by Criterion’s m.d. Adam Levin, follows the announcement in May that SeeSaw, owned by British TV transmission outfit Arqiva, was skedded to shutter in June.

Saving the upstart, of which majority ownership will reside with Criterion Media, pulls together a raft of investors including entertainment execs, media entrepreneurs, institutional funds and private equity partners to take a controlling stake in the TV platform.

Former Beeb controller and Channel 4 exec Michael Jackson will assume the role as chairman effective immediately and will take an ownership stake. Previous owner Arqiva will retain a 25% stake in the biz and is guaranteed a new seat on the exec board.

The consortium has also brought on board Dan Adler as an investor and strategic adviser focused on worldwide studio relationships. He has previously had roles at Disney and ABC.

“The TV industries in the U.K. and abroad will continue to be reshaped in ways no one can quite predict,” said Jackson in a statement. “However, it is clear that web-delivered programming will play a vital role in that transformation.”

The new owners plan to continue primary operations in London, with most staff members staying on under the new ownership.

SeeSaw bowed in February 2010 and offers more than 3,000 hours of free programming to viewers.

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