Closing the Comedybox?

Web channel's videos all go offline

Online comedy channel Comedybox appears to have ceased operating, after all its videos vanished from the web.

The venture was launched by Warner Music two years ago amid much fanfare, with Blackadder and QI producer John Lloyd leading the creative team.

Its aim was to showcase sketches, stand-up and animation in a number of weekly series – and promised to ensure comedians had access to professional production values.

Just a few months after it launched, the company signed an exclusive deal with MySpace to provide comedy content for the social networking site, with hundreds of videos going online.

Today, none of those videos are available on MySpace, with viewers who do follow links to the old content being told that the videos are now ‘private’.

There is also no longer mention of Comedybox on the MySpace comedy home page, which is where the domain points to.

MySpace ran a comedy talent search sponsored by Trident chewing gum late last year – and footage from that final has also vanished from the site.

MySpace did not return calls asking what had happened – but the company, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s vast News Corporation, recently announced a drastic cost-cutting drive.

Two-thirds of its non-American workforce is being laid off, reducing staff numbers from 450 to just 150 as new chief executive Owen Van Natta said: ‘MySpace grew too big considering the realities of today's marketplace.’

Published: 3 Jul 2009

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