The transformation of streaming partner World Aquatics has fallen into financial administration

Recast, the company chosen by World Aquatics to stream major swimming events in most of the world, became insolvent and went into administration (bankruptcy).

A Scottish company that provided on-demand and subscription-free streaming services has appointed administrators after a major investor went under.

The service received a £5.9m Series A investment round in May 2021, with an additional £7m in 2022. But a recent funding commitment fell through, creating cash flow challenges for the company.

The platform had many high-profile partners. In addition to World Aquatics, they also had agreements with football giants Manchester City and Inter Milan.

The platform has also attracted other Olympic sports federations such as the European Taekwondo Federation and International Canoeing Federation, World Curling, International Skating Federation and Beach Soccer Worldwide.

Most of these federations previously provided free live and on-demand streaming content on YouTube. The service was particularly attractive to smaller associations, providing publishers with 85% of revenue, although it recently dropped that share to 20%.

After failing to find a buyer, Recast went into administration and most of its 42 employees lost their jobs.

“Unfortunately, Recast was unable to continue operations because the allocated funds were not received,” the company said in a statement. “We will give priority to providing support to those employees who have been made redundant, including providing the information necessary to make claims from the Redundancy Service.”

“To suddenly find ourselves in administration due to unfulfilled funding commitments is devastating for everyone at Recast.

“While we have enjoyed many successes over the years, our recent traction highlights how the sports and entertainment landscape so desperately needs an alternative content monetization solution like Recast.

“This is a sad day for all of our shareholders, team members, partners, rights holders and fans, but I am incredibly grateful to all those who have shared and supported our vision and journey.”

Recast gave most of the world pay-per-view access to the recent World Junior Swimming Championships, where a ticket for the entire meet was available for $5-$10 depending on the 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.

In addition to the usual complaints that come with swimmers not wanting to pay to watch meets, fans expressed confusion over a system that involved buying “credits” instead of just paying directly for events, and some difficulty accessing replays of the sessions.

World Aquatics has shut down its FINAtv service in April 2021.

Elvira Parkinson

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