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Internet Invades Television?

February 23rd, 2010

HBO presented its new series, “Funny or Die Presents”, a compilation of clips from the comedy video Website FunnyOrDie.com, at midnight last Friday.

Created by former SNL comedian Will Ferrell and writer Adam McKay in 2007, the site averages over 7 million individual video hits a month and has birthed such viral smashes as Landlord and “Between the Ferns”  with Zach Galifianakis.”

A combination of content created by Ferrell, McKay and their famous friends, as well as user-generated videos, FunnyOrDie.com has found success in producing videos quickly at a mass rate. HBO is hoping this internet hit will translate to television screens – returning their investment from the 2008 deal in which they bought a piece of the site for reportedly around $10 Million.

While the link between television and the internet has been existent for years, the connection has moved primarily in one direction – television content becoming available for viewing online. Although television services have offered internet access, it’s been used mainly to view other television series and movies, not content generated specifically for the web.

However, considering HBO’s new programming as well as Verizon Fios’ new capability to offer access to Facebook and twitter via television, recently there’s been much movement in the opposite direction.

YouTube made the jump to television last year, first launching for Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 users in January before then going widespread with YouTube XL in June.   And Viacom is using Atom.com content to test content before running it on Atom TV, which runs on its MTV and Comedy Central Networks.

In light of HBO’s new web inspired series and the nearly eight months since the launch of YouTube XL, how long it will take before we see a television series inspired by YouTube content? If “Funny or Die Presents” is any indication of things it may not be very long.

Posted Under: Innovation & Technology, Media & Journalism
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