Recast, the company that was selected by World Aquatics to stream major swimming events worldwide, has recently filed for bankruptcy. The Scottish company, known for its on-demand and non-subscription streaming services, appointed administrators after a major investor withdrew their support.
Recast had received significant funding in recent years, with a £5.9 million Series A investment round in May 2021 and an additional £7 million raise in 2022. However, a recent funding commitment fell through, leading to cashflow problems for the company.
The streaming platform had partnered with several high-profile organizations, including World Aquatics, Manchester City, Inter Milan, the European Taekwondo Union, the International Canoe Federation, World Curling, the International Skating Union, and Beach Soccer Worldwide. These partnerships allowed them to stream a variety of Olympic sports events.
Previously, many of these federations offered free live and on-demand streaming on YouTube. Recast’s platform was appealing to smaller federations because it offered publishers 85% of the revenue generated. However, the company recently reduced this share to 20%, which may have impacted its attractiveness to content creators.
Unable to find a buyer, Recast ultimately went into administration, and most of its 42 employees lost their jobs. In a statement, the company expressed their disappointment and offered support to the affected employees.
The bankruptcy of Recast is a blow to the sports and entertainment industry, as the company provided an alternative content monetization solution. While some fans may have been reluctant to pay for swimming events, Recast’s pay-per-view access model offered affordable options for viewers worldwide.
However, there were some complaints about the platform, including confusion over the system of buying “credits” instead of directly paying for events and difficulties in accessing session replays. These issues may have contributed to a less-than-optimal user experience.
Interestingly, World Aquatics had previously shut down its own streaming service, FINAtv, in April 2021, which may have left a gap in the market that Recast aimed to fill. The failure of Recast’s streaming platform highlights the challenges and complexities of delivering high-quality and accessible sports content to a global audience.
Overall, the bankruptcy of Recast is a setback for both the company and its partners, as well as for fans who enjoyed the convenience of streaming major swimming events. It serves as a reminder of the evolving landscape of content monetization in the sports industry and the need for sustainable business models to support the streaming of live events.