Recast, the company chosen by World Aquatics to stream major swimming events to most of the world, has become insolvent and gone into administration (bankruptcy).
The Scottish company, which provided on-demand and non-subscription streaming services, has appointed administrators when a major investor fell through.
The service received a £5.9m Series A investment round in May 2021, and an additional £7m raise in 2022. A recent funding commitment fell through, though, which created cashflow challenges for the company.
The platform had a number of high-profile partners. Besides World Aquatics, they also had deals with soccer behemoths Manchester City and Inter Milan.
The platform also attracted other Olympic sports federations like the European Taekwondo Union and the International Canoe Federation, World Curling, the International Skating Union, and Beach Soccer Worldwide.
Most of these federations previously provided live and on-demand streaming content for free on YouTube. The service was attractive, especially to smaller federations, because it offered publishers 85% of revenue, though it recently decreased that share to 20%.
After being unable to find a buyer, Recast went into administration, and most of its 42 employees lost their jobs.
“Unfortunately, however, with the committed funding having not been received Recast was not able to continue operating,” the company said in a statement. “As a matter of priority, we will be providing support to those employees who have been made redundant, including providing them with the information required to make claims from the Redundancy Payments Service.”
“To suddenly find ourselves going into administration as a result of funding commitments not being fulfilled is devastating for everyone at Recast.
“While we’ve enjoyed many successes over the years, our recent traction particularly highlights how the sports and entertainment landscape so desperately needs an alternative content monetisation solution like Recast’s.
“It’s a sad day for all our shareholders, team members, partners, rights holders and fans, but I’m incredibly grateful to all of those who shared and supported our vision and journey.”
Recast provided pay-per-view access to the recent World Junior Swimming Championships to most of the world, where a full-meet pass was available for $5-$10 depending on country. The service also streamed the World Aquatics Championships to most of the world for $14 per week or $26.96 for a 30-day pass.
Besides the usual complaints that come with swimming people not wanting to pay to watch meets, fans expressed confusion over the system that involved buying “credits” rather than just paying directly for events, and some difficulty accessing session replays.
World Aquatics shut down its FINAtv service in April 2021.