Comedy Central, Live Nation expand deal

Will launch monthly House of Blues stand-up showcase

NEW YORK -- Comedy Central and live entertainment firm Live Nation on Thursday unveiled a broadened and deepened partnership that will include the launch of "Comedy Central's House of Comedy Live from House of Blues," a monthly branded stand-up showcase in House of Blues venues nationwide.

The Viacom network will also tape two one-hour stand-up specials from House of Blues venues with the first being taped in Boston on April 16.

Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed. The deal expands on a relationship that started after Comedy Central launched its live business in 2003 and partnered with Live Nation on "Comedy Central Live Starring Lewis Black and Dave Attell" with special guest Mitch Hedberg. Black and Attell have since teamed up for various other tours.

Live Nation said the cooperations have drawn more than 1 million fans to Comedy Central-branded tours.

Said Mitch Fried, senior vp of Comedy Central Live Entertainment: "With Live Nation and its House of Blues venues, we have found the perfect companions to expand our thriving touring business and grow the Comedy Central brand outwards and off channel."

Geof Wills, president of Live Nation Comedy, said the deal "creates an important platform for us to launch new comedy touring talent, as well as showcase established comedy stars in our House of Blues venues."

As part of the deal, the network will be integrated throughout House of Blues venues and retail shops, including on and off stage, as well as in show marketing. Similarly, Comedy Central will offer its advertisers the opportunity to become official sponsors of the series.