Free online TV unites broadcasters

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The Independent Online

A new television streaming service launches online today, bringing together shows from the BBC, Channel 4 and Five on a single site.

SeeSaw went live with more than 3,000 hours of content, including The Apprentice, Shameless and classic Doctor Who episodes, under one roof for the first time. Unlike services such as BBC's iPlayer or Channel 4's 4oD, which broadcast their own content, SeeSaw has partnerships with BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Five and independent companies who production shows for ITV.

John Keeling, the controller of SeeSaw, said: "It's like having an enormous buffet. You can either just snack on it and catch up on what you've missed, or gorge yourself with an entire season. It's absolutely at your fingertips and your control." SeeSaw was born after a similar venture by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, under the working title Project Kangaroo, was blocked by the Competition Commission.

SeeSaw's parent company, the Winchester-based cable and satellite operator Arqiva, paid £8m for Kangaroo's assets last year.

SeeSaw is currently free and funded by advertising revenue but in future it will introduce a pay-per-view service for top US dramas and other premium content.