Comedy Creates Mobile Brand


Comedy Central is extending its Motherload broadband-video brand beyond the Internet.

The network created a new mobile channel that will make content from original Web series like Odd Todd and Live at Gotham available to cellular-phone users, according to vice president of programming Val Boreland.

Continuing to crank up its multiplatform content play, Comedy will also offer an uncensored version of its William Shatner roast special to cable operators via on-demand in September, nearly three weeks after the special's Aug. 20 premiere on the network.

Boreland said Motherload Mobile will feature three to four short clips refreshed weekly from its lineup of broadband original and exclusive shows -- Tiny Hands, Meet the Creeps and Golden Age among them.

The network signed mobile-video deals with several carriers including Verizon Wireless, Cingular and Sprint Nextel.

"For us, it's about developing new programming and extending that brand to new platforms," Boreland said. "Extending those brands further to mobile users is just another fantastic way to use the product."

On the pay-per-view front, the network is scheduled to offer an unrated, uncensored version of The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner on-demand beginning Sept. 7, less than three weeks after an edited version of the show airs on the network.

The roast of Shatner -- of Star Trek, T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal fame -- follows PPV uncut versions of Comedy 2004 and 2005 roasts of Denis Leary and Pamela Anderson, respectively.

Boreland said pricing for the PPV offerings will vary, depending on show length and the window between the show's linear airing and its PPV debut. Due to Shatner's short window, she added, that show will most likely retail higher than the $9.95 currently charged for the Anderson and Leary roasts.

"This is a good way for us to extend our roast brand beyond our core Comedy Central viewers," Boreland said.

She added that the network's first foray into on-demand -- an April stand-up concert featuring Carlos Mencia -- performed well, but she would not reveal specific buys.

"Our audience craves our content, so Comedy Central has to be everywhere on all platforms," she said. "PPV is a great platform that lends itself to uncensored content that we can't do on-air."