NextUp lands comedy FAST on Virgin TV

NextUp comedy star Shaparak Khorsandi

Comedy-on-demand streamer NextUp has partnered is one of a group of providers teaming up with adventure sports specialist Extreme International to take a slot as a FAST channel on the Virgin Media network in the UK.   

The linear ad-supported channel NextUp Live Comedy, which features stand-up comedy content including livestreams from the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival throughout August, will be available to Virgin Media TV customers with TV 360, Stream or a V6 box at no extra cost.

NextUp Live Comedy is one of a raft of new FAST channels introduced by Virgin Media O2 on the Virgin TV offering.

NextUp is also working with Extreme to launch its FAST channels on further platforms later this month.

NextUp said it is using a UK government Innovate grant 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. NextUp said the technology it is developing will soon be licensable to third parties.

“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. These partnerships alongside the Innovate Grant will allow us to increase accessibility, reach new fans and of course share more laughter,” said Sarah Henley, co-founder and Co-CEO of NextUp.

“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. 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,” said Mark Dodd, managing director media network for Extreme.

As well as its new FAST channel launch, NextUp is available as an SVOD service online, through TV apps or Amazon Prime.

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