You think your merch is a big deal? Comedy Central has solidified its position in merchandising by putting all of it under a new business division — Comedy Central Enterprises — and putting Mitch Fried in charge of it.
The division centralizes control over the network’s consumer products, home entertainment, records, live entertainment and publishing, and the accompanying press release expresses a desire to seek “omni-platform deals” with comedians.
Among the things you might not have noticed but already are part of Comedy Central’s merchandise line:
- “Cheesy Poofs” snacks sold through Frito Lay and Wal-Mart for fans of South Park (and cheesy poofs).
- Stand-up comedy DVDs and digital on-demand releases.
- Stand-up comedy tours.
- Comedy CDs and digital downloads of stand-up albums.
But what about the T-shirts?
“In the increasingly fractured world of content distribution, success today means reaching fans everywhere. The formation of Comedy Central Enterprises strengthens our relationship with our fans. It’s another example of the kind of extension that keeps Comedy Central the #1 brand in comedy” said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central’s president. “Mitch Fried is an experienced and innovative executive with a long history at Comedy Central. Respected and well-liked throughout the industry, he knows the brand intimately and is the perfect person to spearhead our efforts under the new Enterprises banner.”
“By consolidating these brand extensions into a single business division with a common goal, we are in a better position to grow and strengthen the brand and provide our fans with what they want most, easily-accessible, high-quality comedy, both on screens and off,” said Fried, whose previous title with the network was senior vice president of Comedy Central’s Live Entertainment division. “Forming the Enterprises division also provides benefits to our talent partners by offering them massive exposure to our fans and a multitude of opportunities and points of distribution to increase their own following and generate revenue by getting their content in front of an ever-widening consumer base.”
All I hear is merch, merch, merch. Always Be Closing!