MTV, Comedy Central ignite site

Networks plan relaunch of Atom.com

MTV Networks and Comedy Central execs gathered Thursday to tout the relaunch of Atom.com, dubbing it the “punk rock label for Comedy Central.”

The site, formerly known as Atomfilms.com, streams made-for-Web comedic shorts. It’s now tied in with Comedy Central in an effort to distinguish it from other digital comedy sites, such as FunnyorDie.com.

Unlike other pure Web plays, Atom is active in ancillaries and has a presence on Comedy Central.

Viacom paid about $200 million for Atom in 2006, along with Shockwave and Addicting Games.

Atom, born in the late ’90s dot-com boom, previously focused exclusively on short films, but its business plan has expanded to include TV. It is showcased in the “Atom TV” on latenight block Comedy Central, which airs original shorts from the likes of Adult Swim-pedigreed creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

But Comedy Central execs intend to maintain a clear-cut difference between their net and Atom, which has been primarily a Web property for 10 years.

Atom.com will also include an uploading section, where would-be creators can showcase their work in hopes of gaining some Atom prestige, as well as $500 and a percentage of the ad revenues.

Current skeins on Atom.com are “Scrubs” writer Ryan Levin’s “Benny, Escaped Convict,” the Ivan Reitman-produced “Border Patrol” and Waverly Films’ “Stickman Exodus.”

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