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Next New Networks has acquired BarelyPolitical.com for an undisclosed sum, adding the creator of viral video phenomenon Obama Girl to its growing array of niche channels. BarelyPolitical, founded in June by Ben Relles, will serve regular political comedy as a branded micro-network on NNN’s distribution network. While continuing to produce the sexy and slick musical spectacles that brought Obama Girl international attention, the network will also provide more frequent reports from its correspondents and videobloggers.
Though NNN usually develops or contracts new shows itself, the New York City-based startup has made deals with existing shows and content creators — it helps JETSET out with distribution and sponsorship, and helped develop a new show, A Comicbook Orange, with the creators of Galacticast — but BarelyPolitical is the first time it has bought its way into a new project. The timing is perfect, with the 2008 election providing plenty of fodder for the coming year, but BarelyPolitical is working to withstand the ephemeral nature of Internet fame.
In an emailed press release, NNN says the first project BarelyPolitical undertook with NNN was the music video “I Like a Boy” (embedded above), which was made in conjunction with the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America.
While Obama Girl, a.k.a. Amber Lee Ettinger (who, along with Relles, helped judge our last Pier Screenings event), will certainly continue to make curvaceous appearances on BarelyPolitical’s new home, the bulk of the regular content will come from correspondents reporting from the field (check out Joy Behar’s follow-up interviews below).
Hollywood Reporter writes that BarelyPolitical has also signed comedian Jackie Mason to contribute video content. Mason recently posted a video response on YouTube to Obama Girl where he strips to “It’s Raining Men” (SFW but wrong…so wrong). Make sure to check out the rest of his YouTube channel, TheUltimateJew, where the aging comic has a whopping 70 posts. Relles tells the Hollywood Reporter that fans can expect a video from Mason on BarelyPolitical by next week.
The online political comedy scene is an increasingly crowded space in whcih a variety of branded channels are vying for attention. JibJab, after ups and downs following its initial success in 2004 of “This Land,” has partnered with CNNPolitics.com. Meanwhile, from the Beltway, Politico.com has launched PlaybookTV and The Washington Post’s SlateV continues to churn out quality socio-political commentary. And we’d be remiss not to mention that Viacom-owned (VIA.B) Comedy Central also offers much of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report online.