Sirius XM Radio creating Comedy Central channel

AP News
Posted: Jan 22, 2013 12:03 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Sirius XM Radio and Comedy Central are teaming up to create a new channel on the satellite radio service devoted to showcasing the television network's stable of stand-up comics.

The companies said Tuesday that they are hoping to launch the channel this spring, preferably around April Fools' Day. Sirius already has eight channels devoted to comedy, including Laugh USA, Blue Collar Comedy, Raw Dog Comedy and Jamie Foxx's Foxxhole.

For Comedy Central, the radio channel is part of the company's effort to spread its brand outside of television. The network offers package concert tours with comedians and regularly sponsors shows at prominent comedy clubs, said Mitch Fried, executive vice president of enterprises at Comedy Central.

"What the network is able to do is surround the consumer in other parts of their life besides sitting and watching television," he said.

Currently, there are no plans to include some of Comedy Central's biggest names, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and the team behind "South Park," Fried said. Their programs are more visual and don't translate as well to radio as the stand-up comics, he said.

Sirius XM "would be crazy to say they wouldn't want" Colbert or Stewart, said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer. But he's excited about tapping into some 30,000 minutes of stand-up comedy that the television network has in its vault.

He said the Comedy Central channel should work well with the existing comedy channels on the subscription service, perhaps providing some cross-promotional opportunities.

Besides making use of the stand-up material in Comedy Central's vaults for various programs, the channel could also bring in comics as guest hosts or broadcast live material from venues like the New York Comedy Festival, Fried said.