'Motherload’ Roams Around


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

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

Continuing to crank up its multiplatform content play, Comedy will also offer an uncensored version of its special The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner 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 has signed mobile video deals with several carriers, including Verizon, Cingular and Sprint.

“For us, it’s about developing new programming and extending that brand to new platforms,” said Boreland. “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 the show airs on the network. The roast of Shatner, of Star Trek, T.J Hooker and Boston Legal fame, follows to PPV uncut versions of Comedy Central 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 said 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. Boreland said the network’s first foray into on-demand — an April stand-up concert featuring Carlos Mencia — performed well, but he would not reveal specific buys.