Comedy Gets Serious About Affils


Comedy Central has been displaying its serious side -- at least off-channel
-- as it helps affiliates to generate new revenue from digital cable, high-speed
cable modems and telephony.

Vice president of affiliate marketing Steve Males said Comedy has developed
three separate affiliate-marketing promotions that his team is tailoring to
address the needs of AT&T Broadband, Cox Communications Inc. and Charter
Communications Inc.

In fact, the network will announce those promotions at the CTAM Summit in
Boston Monday, billing its affiliate-marketing team as the one-stop shop 'for
MSOs looking for laughs and additional revenue.'

Cox has already had success with one of those customized promotions. Last
year, it partnered with Comedy on 'Lewis Black: The 2001 Rants & Raves Tour'
in eight of its markets.

Consumers who sampled Cox's high-speed Internet access, digital-cable and
telephony services -- displayed at high-tech kiosks in Cox Retail and Circuit
City Stores Inc. stores in those markets -- got two tickets to see Black's
standup act at a local venue. Black is featured weekly on Comedy's The Daily
Show with Jon Stewart

AT&T Broadband plans to team up with Comedy this fall on an
invitation-only BattleBots-themed show in Boston, Chicago and San
Francisco featuring comedians Bil Dwyer and Arj Barker, Males said.

Charter linked with Comedy last May on a cobranded electronic-mail campaign
that sought to boost sales of its 'Charter Pipeline' modem service.

That e-mail -- a special offer designed by the MSO -- targeted recipients
whose names were culled from Comedy's database of registered online users who
had opted to receive promotional information from the programmer, Males

Those transmissions reached roughly 55,000 Charter subscribers, and they have
already yielded 500 new inquiries for Charter Pipeline, he