[05/16/12 - 07:15 AM]
Turner Broadcasting Creates Strategic Partnership With Digital Comedy Powerhouse Funny Or Die
The company is taking a minority equity stake and its digital sales force will serve as the exclusive seller of its advertising opportunities.

[via press release from Turner]

Turner Broadcasting Creates Strategic Partnership With Digital Comedy Powerhouse Funny Or Die

Turner's Digital Sales Force to Become Exclusive Seller Of Advertising Opportunities with Funny Or Die

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., including multi-platform entertainment networks TBSand Adult Swim, is joining forces with Funny Or Die in a strategic partnership that links three of the biggest brands in comedy. TBS, the highest-rated comedy network on television, and Adult Swim, TV's leader with young adults, along with select Turner digital properties, will collaborate with Funny Or Die to accelerate the digital content provider's sales and cement all three brands' position as the leading multi-platform destinations for great comedy.

The agreement promises to enhance the phenomenal growth of Funny Or Die, which was launched in 2007 by Will Ferrell, writer/director Adam McKay and writer Chris Henchy. Turner Broadcasting is taking a minority equity stake in Funny Or Die, and Turner's digital sales force will serve as the exclusive seller of advertising opportunities with Funny Or Die. The reach of TBS and Adult Swim - coupled with the strength and innovation of the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. sales division - will be an ideal pairing for Funny Or Die, which has relationships with many of the top people and brands in entertainment.

"While we are incredibly excited about how this partnership will catalyze our growth and make Funny Or Die an even better place for comedic talent, we are even more excited about the opportunities this will open up to brands and advertisers to create far-reaching, hilariously funny cross-platform content and messaging," said Dick Glover, president and CEO of Funny Or Die. "TBS, Adult Swim, Turner Digital Sales and the rest of the Turner organization are a fantastic fit with us in all ways. Plus, we are instantly gaining an even larger sales staff, something it would take us years to develop. This is very cool."

"We're thrilled by our acquisition of Turner," said Adam McKay, co-founder of Funny Or Die. "We're now taking a long hard look at Viacom. These are heady days over here at Funny Or Die."

Funny Or Die caught fire immediately after its April 2007 launch, thanks to the popularity of Ferrell's now-famous "The Landlord" video, which has been viewed about 80 million times. Since then, the company has evolved into a vertically integrated 21st century digital studio that produces high-quality content over numerous platforms, including funnyordie.com. Funny Or Die also attracts some of the most famous and talented people in entertainment, ranging from Justin Bieber to Zach Galifianakis.

Turner has already worked extensively with Funny Or Die on the creative side of the business, and the two companies will now partner on content that reaches across all platforms, including television, mobile and tablets. "We're investing in Funny Or Die because we can take their great content and give it a wider audience through the incredible reach of TBS," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, which includes TBS. "TBS and Funny Or Die will give people a laugh anywhere, anytime and on any device."

Because comedy has proven to be a magnet for young adults, the Turner and Funny Or Die partnership will be attractive to a wide range of ad partners. "Turner's new strategic alliance with Funny Or Die adds another core asset to our unrivaled digital portfolio that will prove to be very attractive to advertisers looking to associate their brands with great content and an engaged, socially savvy audience," said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports at Turner Broadcasting System. "Combined with the powerful reach and content of TBS and Adult Swim, the addition of Funny Or Die provides advertisers opportunities to associate their messages with three top brands that attract young demos and engage consumers across a variety of screens."

"We've worked with Funny Or Die in the past because their sensibilities and creator-friendly environment matches ours," said Stuart Snyder, president/COO Turner's Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media Group, which includes Adult Swim. "This extension of our relationship will now allow us to bring even more great comedy content to our audience."

About Funny Or Die

Funny Or Die launched in April 2007 and has quickly become the top destination for comedy on the web. The site has over 16 million unique users per month, over 60 million video views per month, and has grown into a vertically integrated 21st century digital studio that produces high quality content over numerous platforms, operating a social media and marketing division with over 3.8 million Twitter followers (#1 Comedy Brand), approximately 5.8 million Facebook fans (Funny Or Die: 1.7M; Will Ferrell: 4.1M), and devoted followers on numerous social networking and sharing sites. Funny Or Die has become the "place to be seen" for comedic celebrities, and the obvious destination for a daily comedy fix. Funny Or Die's founders are Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Randy Adams and Michael Kvamme. Judd Apatow is also a principal partner in Funny Or Die.

About Turner Broadcasting

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

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