Seeso faces changes as NBCU SVOD strategy shifts

Former Seeso chief Evan Shapiro.

Established in January 2016 as a niche comedy SVOD service heavy on originals, NBCUniversal’s Seeso is in the midst of significant change.

First, there’s leadership. Evan Shapiro, the executive who launched the $3.99-a-month platform, left the company last week. His departure comes seven months after Maggie Suniewick took over Seeso after she was promoted to president of NBCU Digital Enterprises. 

RELATED: NBCU reportedly ramping up All Access-like SVOD service

“Evan has created a slate of remarkable comedy programming, and put together an incredibly talented team. We’re proud of the work we’ve done together and wish him all the best,” Suniewick said in a statement.

About that slate of remarkable programming …

Seeso has grown its subscriber base into a reported “six-figure” level, mixing next-day airings of NBC’s linear late-night lineup with library titles such as "Monty Python’s Flying Circus," then topping it off with shows like real estate-themed series "Bajillion Dollar Propertie$" and "There’s Johnny!"

NBCU reps didn’t immediately respond to FierceOnlineVideo’s inquiries for comment. But Variety quoted an inside source as saying the platform’s strategy will shift away from originals, with NBCU now looking to provide authenticated streaming access to its linear programming. 

This, of course, means TV Everywhere, but perhaps more broadly a shift in NBCU’s thinking regarding SVOD.

It was revealed last month that restrictions tied to Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBCU are going to sunset in 2018, and that Comcast and NBCU are looking to create an online destination that sounds more like CBS All Access—which is essentially a livestreamed version of the CBS TV network, and not a collection of low-budget niche-targeted originals and library titles. 

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