FremantleMedia goes online with laughs

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LONDON -- FremantleMedia Enterprises said Monday that it is launching a download-to-own or -rent Web portal for consumers looking for good old-fashioned laughs.

The company said output from famous comedy names of yesteryear including Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd and Jim Davidson will be on the site, TVComedyClassics.com.

FME head David Ellender said the site, set to launch this month, will become "the digital home" for FME's extensive back catalog of comedy programming.

Titles available from launch either to download, to own or rent include "Tommy Cooper Half Hour," "The Howerd Confessions," "George and Mildred" and "Bless This House."

"We very much see TVComedyClassics.com as just the first in many program genre portal Web sites we will be developing, and we're certain it will be a big hit with comedy fans," said Pete Kalhan, senior vp FME home entertainment and archive sales. "With the launch of this Web site, we're truly taking home entertainment into the home."

FME said it will also brand upcoming DVD releases with the TVComedyClassics stamp to build awareness.

FremantleMedia is owned by the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company.
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