New Comedy-Focused FAST Channel to Launch in November

Digital channel studio and content syndicator Best Ever Channels, together with comedy management, production, and venue operator The Stand Group Inc., on Oct. 3 announced the launch of a new comedy-focused FAST channel, WITZ-Comedy TV.

The new channel will debut in November with new original series and standup comedy specials featuring such top comics as Sal Vulcano, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Laurie Kilmartin, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, Bret Ernst, Yannis Pappis and more.

Barry Gordon

WITZ will air several original series, including “Upstairs at The Stand,” “Passed,” “Would You Bang Him,” “NYC Comedy Under Lincoln Center,” “The Riff” and “WITZ-Bitz.” Also on tap are several comedy specials, including “Anonymous,”  the first production ever shot at an NA Convention, and Laurie Kilmartin’s “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad,” which the New York Times called “a story of complexity and nuance and emotional power.” 

WITZ-Comedy TV has partnered with Angry Buddha, a TV producer and New York City-based production company, to produce its slate of specials and original programming for the WITZ network. The partners will also develop and offer exclusive WITZ-Comedy TV-branded programming to platforms and advertisers. Additionally, WITZ’s Jonathan Schwartz, a former Maverick Films and Relativity Media executive, will work alongside Angry Buddha, producers, and talent to develop additional new series, features, and formats for the network.

“We’re creating a FAST 2.0 channel with WITZ-Comedy TV,” said Barry Gordon, co-CEO of BEC. “The Stand’s talent relationships coupled with Angry Buddha and Jon’s production chops make for a winning team that will drive WITZ as the new comedy destination, and a brand that’s chock-full with original content, attitude, and fresh energy.”

“Rich Vos is pioneering new territory with his comedy special ANONYMOUS. We’ve always wanted to explore new and unhindered ways to present standup, and we’ve found it,” said Cris Italia, partner at The Stand Group. “WITZ allows us to create a home for formats that might have not been accepted elsewhere, making it a true pioneer in comedy. No one in streaming media or linear is taking things to this level. We’re talking about comedy formats well beyond just standup, all with top-notch talent.”

Music Magazine ‘Spin’ Launches FAST Channel

Spin, a consumer magazine and website aimed at music fans, June 28 announced it is partnering with independent streaming content distributor Best Ever Channels (BEC) on the creation and syndication of a Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) channel.

Featuring live concerts, original shows, archives, films, music videos and documentaries, the Spin streaming channel will bring viewers programming that draws on the publications 37 years of connecting music fans with the artists they love. The channel will launch later this year or in the first quarter of 2023 and is expected to be widely available on streaming platforms.

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The Spin channel is being created in partnership with entertainment industry veterans at BEC. Barry Gordon, co-CEO of BEC, brings decades of music industry, comedy and Hollywood production experience, including a long tenure as an executive at Image Entertainment.  Jonathon Barbato, co-CEO of BEC and former head of marketing for Starz/Encore, MGM-TV and others, is a digital audience builder and was an early-day advisor to both Pluto and Tubi TV. BEC will also offer connected TV manufacturers exclusive Spin-branded music-based shows to play outside of the FAST channel. This content will be available for advertiser brand integrations and offered for license periods of up to three years.

Spin is fun, irreverent and high-profile. Spin has a certain style/tone that needs the right team to bring this channel to life. Were delighted to be partnering with the team at BEC to create our FAST channel,” said Jimmy Hutcheson, CEO of Spin magazine. We spent time searching for a company that could truly build a channel that embodies what SPIN means in terms of what our fans and readers expect, and I know Barry, Jonathon and their team will make that a reality. They have deep knowledge of the streaming space, and I cant wait for the channels launch later this year.”

Were honored to partner with Spin on creating this channel, which I know music fans everywhere will love,” Gordon said. In addition to the channel, were planning to offer Spin advertisers and sponsors the benefit of impressions and brand attrition across ,  streaming platforms, CTVs, and podcasts which will provide them  multi-platform brand exposure and ad sales opportunities  in a way that exceeds most FAST or AVOD channels in todays universe.