Seeso never had it easy. The NBCUniversal-owned streaming service launched in 2016 into what was already a crowded streaming market. NBC was already licensing many of its programs to Hulu, so creating another streaming service seemed like a strange choice. Nevertheless, Seeso launched and became the home of many NBCUniversal comedy programs and talk shows, streaming popular programs like Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Parks and Recreation as well as iconic syndicated sketch comedy series like The Kids in the Hall and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Despite boasting such high-profile titles in its library, Seeso never quite caught on with streaming audiences and earlier this year, Seeso began laying off employees. Now, many streaming observers are predicting the struggling Seeso might be on its last legs as NBCUniversal is selling the rights to its two most popular series.
According to a Decider exclusive, Seeso is selling off Dan Harmon’s HarmonQuest and the McElroy Brothers’ podcast adaptation My Brother, My Brother and Me. HarmonQuest is a mixed live-action/animation series in which real players play a role-playing game live in front of an audience, after which their in-game exploits are animated and edited together. My Brother, My Brother and Me, meanwhile, features brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy answering nerdy and zany questions either submitted by podcast listeners or culled from the Yahoo! Answers service.
NBCUniversal is selling the two series to Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group which owns the animation-oriented Crunchyroll and VRV streaming services. VRV features a massive library of comedy and animated titles from all corners of the geek world, possibly making it a better fit for the two former Sesso series.
Every statement and report from Seeso representatives over the past few months seem to indicate that NBCUniversal is indeed ready to pull the plug, but is taking its time to ensure it can either profit from selling its series or make sure its creators find a new home first. In the new streaming wars, there will be winners and losers; they can’t all be Netflix. See ya, Seeso.