Ziddio calls for amateur talent


NEW YORK -- Ziddio, Comcast Corp.'s new user-generated content Web site, is launching two amateur video contests, the cable service said Monday.

The winner of Ten Day Take, a pilot contest being run in collaboration with independent production company Endemol, will win a $50,000 budget and a slot on Comcast's On Demand service. The winners of the comedy contest No Talent Nation, presented in conjunction with Rhapsody.com, will perform live at HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

"We recognize the increasing demand for user-generated content and its growing place in the entertainment industry," said Liz Schimel, senior vp entertainment at Comcast Interactive Media. "Ziddio is leveraging Comcast's content relationships and multiplatform reach to provide amateur creators great opportunities to showcase their content."

Ten Day Take, which runs through Feb. 14, is a search for "the next great program idea." It will give the winner money and Endemol's production resources for a 10-day shoot for their show, which will be documented in a "reality-style" series. The shoot and the pilot will be available on Comcast's On Demand service.

"We are thrilled to launch this new partnership," said Jon Vlassopulos, vp business development and digital media and strategic planning at Endemol. "It allows anyone with a great concept for a show to take it from idea to broadcast, which is indicative of where we see the industry moving."

No Talent Nation, which runs through January, will take short comedy videos from users and put them in competition against each other on Ziddio. The top videos will then be available at On Demand, and 10 winners, chosen by users and judges, will get a chance to perform live during the Comedy Arts Festival, which runs Feb. 28-March 4.

Ziddio was launched in beta last month by Comcast and has featured contests in collaboration with HBO/Cinemax and the Style Network.