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NBC Shuts Down Web Comedy Service

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NBC Universal's ad-free, comedy-focused subscription video service, Seeso, is shutting down as the media division of Comcast Corp. focuses its digital strategy on investments like BuzzFeed and Snapchat.

In a Facebook post, Seeso said much of its comedy content has found a new home at VRV, a video app that includes channels like Crunchyroll and Machinima.

Seeso had only arrived in January 2016, priced at $3.99 a month. It featured stars such as Amy Poehler and the British comedy troupe Monty Python, as well as stand-up comedy, original scripted series, and NBC fare like "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

Seeso was NBC Universal's first web-only subscription video service, an attempt to compete with Netflix and respond to changing demands from cord-cutting consumers. The media company hired Evan Shapiro to spearhead its efforts to distribute programming outside the pay-TV bundle.

Shapiro left the company earlier this year, and NBC Universal has since focused on investing in digital media companies instead of creating more subscription video services. NBC Universal has invested $400 million in BuzzFeed and $500 million in Snapchat.

Other programmers are going in the other direction. CBS has introduced CBS All Access, a streaming subscription platform that carries all its shows plus some exclusive content like an upcoming "Star Trek" series. And Walt Disney this week said it will introduce a streaming video subscription version of ESPN next year.

-- Bloomberg News

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