×

AMC Networks Takes Minority Stake in Funny or Die, Plans Integrations With IFC

AMC Networks has bought a minority stake in Funny or Die with the goal of generating wide-ranging collaborations between the digital service founded by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell and AMC’s IFC cabler.

IFC and Funny or Die are already working together on the upcoming Hank Azaria starrer “Brockmire.” The investment from AMC will allow for much deeper integrations between Funny or Die’s digital platforms and IFC’s linear TV service. IFC president Jennifer Caserta will join the Funny or Die board. However, Funny or Die will remain an independent entity and continue to work with rival networks and studios.

The deal anticipates Funny or Die producing more shows for IFC and the companies partnering on ad sales, branded content, and promotional opportunities. But the larger goal is to work together on cutting-edge ideas that they nurture together. The Funny or Die and IFC teams have a cultural simpatico that drove AMC’s decision to invest.

“Doing programming and marketing and short-form content and promotion — those are the easy ways in which we can execute right away,” Caserta told Variety. “How we organically develop things in the content space in a fresh interesting way is the exciting part of this partnership.”

The investment comes amid a period of transition for Funny or Die. The company launched a decade ago by Ferrell and McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, with backing from Sequoia Capital, put itself on the block two years ago but a deal never materialized. In March, former production chief Mike Farah was promoted to CEO. In August, the company shuttered its Silicon Valley office and laid off about 30 staffers in an effort to focus its resources on content creation.

AMC would not characterize the size of its stake. Funny or Die already has a patchwork quilt of investors who have taken small stakes over the years, including HBO, Turner, and CAA. Turner handled ad sales for Funny or Die for a few years but that relationship ended in early February 2015. Farah said he expects the partnership opportunities to be a better fit given the offbeat comedic sensibilities of both brands.

“We’ll be able to find value for both sides in working together but we won’t be obligated to force it,” Farah told Variety.

Farah emphasized that the AMC influx would allow Funny or Die to grow by keeping its focus on content creation. “This allows us to bet on talent,” he said. “We have so many shared values (with IFC) that will accelerate our work on how we evolve our own model to stay ahead of the curve.”

Ferrell, McKay, Gary Sanchez’s Chris Henchy, and Judd Apatow are the principal partners in Funny or Die.

“We met on Tinder, things moved fast, and now we’re getting married,” Ferrell and McKay said of the AMC investment.

(Pictured: “Brockmire”)

More Digital

  • La unidad

    Berlin: European VODs Innovate, Create to Stay Afloat in Global Streaming Wars

    Netflix and other streaming giants might be setting the pace for a global TV landscape upended by video-on-demand technology, but European players are shaking up domestic markets by ramping up investment in original production, forging unlikely partnerships, and looking to beat Netflix at its own game by finding innovative ways to personalize the VOD viewing [...]

  • ABC News Live - David Hatcher

    ABC News Live Taps BuzzFeed's David Hatcher to Oversee Morning News Programming

    ABC News has recruited veteran TV producer David Hatcher as executive producer to oversee the morning news programming block for the ABC News Live streaming network. Hatcher most recently spent a year at BuzzFeed, where he was executive producer of morning news show “AM2DM” on Twitter. For ABC News Live, Hatcher will be responsible for [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Launches Top 10 Daily Rankings of Most Popular Titles by Country

    Netflix is taking top 10 lists of its most popular streaming content to members across the globe. Starting Monday (Feb. 24), Netflix said, it is rolling out a new row in its interface that will show the overall top 10 titles in a subscriber’s country, as well as the top 10 most popular series and [...]

  • Parasite

    'Parasite' Will Stream Exclusively on Hulu in U.S.

    Hulu has exclusive U.S. streaming rights to “Parasite,” the film that made history as the first foreign-language film to win best picture at this year’s Oscars. Under a deal with indie studio Neon, “Parasite” will be available on Hulu beginning Wednesday, April 8, the Disney-controlled streamer announced. The movie from filmmaker Bong Joon Ho won [...]

  • media stocks - wall-street

    Disney, Amazon, ViacomCBS Shares Hit as Stock Market Tumbles Amid Coronavirus Fears

    Fears of the Coronavirus spreading across the world sent major stock indices tumbling on Monday morning. Shares of Disney and Amazon were down 4% for the day as reports that the deadly virus has hit South Korea and Italy spooked investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, or 3.5%, at [...]

  • Disney-Plus-Logo

    Disney Plus Launches Plan Discounts in U.K., Europe Ahead of March Debut

    Disney, looking to lock in Disney Plus customers in the U.K. and European markets prior to its official launch next month, is offering 14%-17% discounts on the streaming service — if users sign up for a one-year plan. Leading up to the March 24 debut of Disney Plus in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, [...]

  • Alex Dundas - Whistle

    Whistle Hires Ex-ITV Exec Alex Dundas as Head of Unscripted Originals (EXCLUSIVE)

    Digital-media company Whistle recruited Alex Dundas, most recently with ITV Entertainment, as executive VP and head of unscripted premium originals. Based in Whistle’s L.A. office, Dundas will oversee development and packaging of new unscripted shows from Whistle and also will support sales to TV network and streaming partners. He reports to Dominic Ianno, EVP of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content