Michael Eisner’s web video shop Vuguru — which got off to a promising start with Prom Queen last year but has only done a couple not-so-buzzy series since then — is giving FoxSports.com a 12-hour exclusive on new episodes of its next show, Back On Topps, according to MediaWeek.
The series is to be a 17-episode mockumentary about heirs to the Topps Co. dealing with the arrival of new management. While the show’s characters are fictional, it borrows some elements with reality, as Eisner bought the the baseball card and collectibles company last year. “The Office meets the SportsCenter commercials” is reportedly the idea. Click here for some preview clips (which will probably resize your browser, sorry). Episodes will come out Tuesday and Thursday, starting tomorrow.
Pushing the show to FoxSports.com is an example of a strategy we are seeing increasingly frequently, where web video makers look for distribution on a site they think will align with their audience, rather than going directly to a broader site like YouTube or MySpace, where their show might get lost. Last week we wrote about how Easy to Assemble, a riff on TV shows and fame, will be distributed on TV.com.
But these deals are just for a set time period of exclusivity, after which super-distribution is the norm. After the initial 12 hours, Back on Topps will also be distributed on YouTube, Veoh, Hulu, Blip, Bebo, Metacafe, Dailymotion, MobiTV, iTunes and backontopps.com.
Back on Topps stars the former hosts of ESPN’s Cheap Seats, Randy and Jason Sklar, and will have cameos from sports stars like Kevin Love, Russell Martin, Matt Holliday, Baron Davis and Dennis Rodman. Skype is its first sponsor.