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Web TV Startup NimbleTV Goes Dark, Promises to Return

The pay-TV-over-the-Web startup promises to deliver "something even better and more amazing than before" later this year.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

NimbleTV, a startup that let some cable TV customers stream their shows over the Web, shut down yesterday. It said it will re-launch later this year.

“We’ve decided to pause the NimbleTV service as it stands today so we can concentrate on developing something even better and more amazing than before,” the company said in a letter to subscribers that it sent out last week.

NimbleTV had multiple incarnations, (and has gone dark once before, when satellite TV provider Dish Network pulled the plug) but its main idea was that it would let pay-TV customers watch the shows they paid for, anywhere they wanted to watch them.

Unlike Aereo, the Web TV startup that went up against the TV networks and lost, NimbleTV wasn’t supposed to replace the pay-TV ecosystem but augment it. The service charged pay-TV subscribers an additional fee, and gave them Web-based access to the programing they would normally see at home.

I’ve asked NimbleTV CEO Anand Subramanian for comment but haven’t heard back. His company raised at least $6 million from Tribune, Tribeca Venture Partners and Greycroft Partners.

Here’s the text of a letter NimbleTV subscriber Anthony Fiore says he received from the company on January 8 (thanks to Jim Romenseko for the reminder to go ahead and publish this):

Dear Nimbler,

For over a year now, NimbleTV has been delivering customers a comprehensive Internet TV offering. We’ve been listening to customer feedback and analyzing an endless amount of data to truly understand what our users, and the next generation of TV viewers, want from us.

We’ve been using this data to revamp our services and quickly realized that all of our efforts must be focused on innovation rather than making small incremental changes and updates to the current service.

As a result, we’ve decided to pause the NimbleTV service as it stands today so we can concentrate on developing something even better and more amazing than before.

As a current paying subscriber, your service will be available through Monday, January 12. After that, you will not be able to access your account or recordings. We will work with the service provider to get you a pro-rated refund for your subscription fee within the month.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please know that you will be among the first to know when we re-launch the new and improved service later this year.

Thanks for your continued support!

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