Yahoo ramps up video effort with new online comedy video series

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:19am IST

A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in Rolle, 30 km (19 miles) east of Geneva, in this file picture taken December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in Rolle, 30 km (19 miles) east of Geneva, in this file picture taken December 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/Files

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc bolstered its line-up of online video programming on Monday with two original comedy series and a new Web channel that will stream live concerts.

The two comedy series, which Yahoo will show on its website next year, are the first long-form original comedies in Yahoo's growing selection of online video. Each series will consist of eight 30-minute episodes which Yahoo will post on its website all at once.

The new programs underscore the struggling Web portal's efforts to bolster its traffic and its advertising revenue by streaming more video programs on its website. Yahoo operates some of the world's most frequently visited online destinations, but its revenue has been stagnant for several years.

Online videos are particularly appealing to Internet companies such as Yahoo because of the high-priced video ads that can be sold alongside the programs.

Other Space, a "galactic adventure" set in the 22nd century, is being created for Yahoo by Paul Feig, who directed the film Bridesmaids and who created the Freaks and Geeks television series. Sin City Saints, which follows the owner of a fictional pro basketball expansion team, is the product of executive producer Mike Tollin and director Bryan Gordon, whose resumes include TV shows such as Smallville, One Tree Hill and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to discuss the financial terms involved in the video deals.

Yahoo also announced a new partnership with concert promoter Live Nation that will involve streaming one live concert every day beginning in the summer.

Internet companies are increasingly rushing to produce original online video programming, as consumers spend more time on the web and as devices such as the Roku and Microsoft Corp's Xbox allow consumers to stream online video straight to their television sets.

Microsoft announced several new original online video programs, including a soccer reality show, earlier on Monday.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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