Last night a message was posted to the small online community on the IceTV forum, with the simple heading "thanks and farewell". It reads as you might expect, with "Dave at IceTV" thanking the community for their continuing support before announcing that "it's all over". That's right, after the disastrous rollout of the doomed Skippa system, IceTV is now closing its doors for good.
When we reported on IceTV's status last week the situation seemed dire, but official comments from the company still remained optimistic. There was still a chance for IceTV to pull through and deliver the Skippa as promised, as well as continuing to offer their popular subscription-based electronic program guide. Last week, IceTV company director Colin O’Brien told the SMH that "everyone at IceTV is gutted, [and] the staff have agreed to work for another week to try to find a solution.” The end of that probationary week is here, and IceTV hasn't managed to pull through.
Traditionally, IceTV's customers had paid for subscriptions on a annual or biannual basis, paying around $50 per year at a discounted rate to access the EPG. Throughout the administration process, IceTV's temporary controllers TPV Insolvency and company director Colin O'Brien polled existing subscribers on the possibility of paying $8 per month -- existing subscriptions became worthless -- for continued access to the EPG. Some customers were willing to accept the proposal, but not enough.
Some of the staff crucial to producing the IceTV guide, and supporting its users, declined an offer to continue working at IceTV in its new form -- meaning that the company is unable to continue trading. From the message on the IceTV forum:
IceTV as a TV guide and smart recording service almost survived. But a number of vital employees declined to take up the offer of working for the new version of IceTV so it's all over. Everything needed to produce and supply a hand curated TV guide with smart scheduling still exists, except the necessary staff.
Despite the numerous complaints sent to IceTV about the Skippa box -- whether about its substandard service or failure to be delivered at all -- the company still had a few loyal customers who stuck around to the very end. "I would like to say thanks for your support over the years. The product was/is excellent. It will be sorely missed," says one user, while another message of support comes with more of a critique:
While I was unwilling to support the proposed idea, I do appreciate everything that the service and staff have done for me over a number of years. I've bought a brilliant device that continues to work for me, and will continue to work for me even after all is said and done. I'm upset on behalf of those who bought a Skippa, as it seems not only are they out of pocket, but also have a device (if they were lucky enough to receive it) that will not even be able to be used without the guide. Hopefully there is a way to overcome this.