NextUp, EXTREME partner for Virgin Media launch
August 2, 2023
Comedy-on-demand streaming service NextUp has partnered with sports and entertainment programmer EXTREME to be available as a FAST channel on Virgin Media in the UK.
The linear ad-supported channel NextUp Live Comedy features its best stand-up comedy content including livestreams from the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival throughout August, offering Virgin Media TV customers with TV 360, Stream or a V6 box access to hours of entertainment at no extra cost. NextUp is also working with EXTREME to launch its FAST channels on further platforms later in August.
Having received the government’s Innovate Grant, NextUp is using this to scale the business through technology that enables transparency on minutes watched and revenue collected. It is also using the grant to improve accessibility to comedy by providing comedy venues with the technology to instantly stream their shows on to the platform and it is integrating real time AI captioning to help ensure a wider audience can enjoy the shows. The technology it is developing will soon be licensable to third parties, with further news to follow on when these will be available.
“Partnering with EXTREME and Virgin Media O2 to bring our live comedy content to new audiences enables huge growth, not only for the channel but the acts, agents and venue partners who we work with,” says Sarah Henley, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of NextUp. “These partnerships alongside the Innovate Grant will allow us to increase accessibility, reach new fans and of course share more laughter.”
“The collaboration with NextUp Comedy and Virgin Media O2 adds a new dimension to the entertainment we can provide for our 20 million fans and viewers worldwide,” adds Mark Dodd, Managing Director Media Network for EXTREME. “NextUp LIVE Comedy is one of the most exciting producers of programming we have encountered in ages and alongside Virgin Media O2, as a major player in the entertainment industry, we can soon offer millions of Virgin Media O2 homes the best live comedy has to offer, all at no extra cost.”
As well as its new FAST channel launch, NextUp is available as an SVoD service online, through TV apps or Amazon Prime.
Mark Watson, Shaparak Khorsandi, Hal Cruttenden and Nick Helm are among the high-profile comedians featured in NextUp’s lineup for the Edinburgh Fringe livestreams.