HBO will tap the Web for new content as the pay TV service Wednesday announced it has entered into a partnership the Will Ferrell-created company Funny or Die.
As part of the deal, HBO will make a financial investment in the Web site, (www.funnyordie.com) as well as commission 10 half-hours of programming, according to the network. While HBO said the television shows will showcase the “innovative and comedic sensibilities of the Funny or Die creative team” it’s unclear whether the premium programmer will take content directly from the Web site, including the highly-viewed comedy skit “The Landlord.” Also unclear is whether HBO.com will stream content from the site.
Since its launch over a year ago, Funny or Die, created by Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, has garnered over 213 million video views, over 37 thousand videos uploaded, and averages 3.2 million unique visitors per month.
“This groundbreaking deal brings the innovative spirit of Funny or Die into the television medium,” said Michael Lombardo, president, programming group and West Coast operations for HBO. in a statement. “With HBO’s long tradition of great comedy, this partnership makes perfect sense.”
“I don’t want to overstate the importance of this deal, but this is the missing link moment where TV and internet finally merge,” added Ferrell in a statement. “It will change the way we as human beings perceive and interact with reality. Okay, I overstated it…but it is an exciting deal.”