NBC shuttering Seeso as CBS, Disney ramp up SVOD plans

(Seeso)

NBCUniversal is pulling the plug on Seeso, its comedy-focused SVOD, just as its competitors CBS and Disney are announcing significant accelerations to their SVOD plans.

In a Facebook post, Seeso explained that it would be shutting down later this year and that HarmonQuest, My Brother, My Brother and Me, Hidden America with Jonah Ray and The Cyanide and Happiness Show would be moving to VRV.

Seeso launched in January 2016 and priced its mix of original programming and archival NBCU content at $3.99 per month.

"We put together what we think is the best collection of comedy in one place," said Evan Shapiro, former executive vice president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, in an earlier statement issued during the launch.

In 2017, Shapiro left NBCU following Maggie Suniewick’s appointment as president of NBCU Digital Enterprises.

RELATED: Seeso faces changes as NBCU SVOD strategy shifts

In May, reports suggested that Seeso, which had amassed a six-figure audience, would shift toward less original programming and more toward serving as an authenticated platform for NBCU’s linear programming.

In June, Seeso began layoffs. And now, the service is officially closing down.

Seeso going belly up only a year-and-a-half after launch is likely a bitter pill for NBC to swallow, especially considering its broadcast rivals CBS and ABC/Disney just this week announced extensive plans for SVOD.

CBS revealed that its All Access platform would begin to expand internationally, starting next year with Canada. The company also announced plans to launch a live streaming sports service.

Meanwhile, Disney announced it’s buying a majority position in BAMTech for $1.48 billion, expanding its plans for an ESPN direct-to-consumer streaming service, and launching a Disney-branded streaming service to house Disney and Pixar films as well as original series and movies.