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Comedy Central's Funny Business

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Comedy Central, the cable comedy channel is setting new trends in the world of cable broadcasting.

Comedy Central launched on April 1st, 1991, formed from the merging of HBO's The Comedy Channel and MTV Network Ha! Comedy Channel as the CTV: The Comedy Network but was soon forced by trademark issues with Canadian Television to adopt a new name, Comedy Central and since then, they've never looked back.

Comedy Central started off small, airing mostly stand up comedy, finding limited initial success with original programming, most notably Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher who left for ABC in short order. Comedy Central's first big success was South Park, followed up with The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Chappelle's show and Mind of Mencia among others.

Comedy Central has not merely rested on it's laurels, however. They have been aggressively pursuing other forms of media distribution and developing new ways to leverage existing products. They have formed a record label to produce comedy albums, sponsored touring comedy artists and tour management services. Moreover, they are looking at other ways to provide digital content through their own website and other outlets like iTunes along with things like ring tones.

All of this content delivery is paying off in a big way. The Wall Street Journal reports that Comedy Central expects to see 150 million dollars in additional revenue from their efforts, this on top of the 400 million in revenue already garnered from ad sales.

"If you do onerous deals with people, you're not going to win," says president of Comedy Central Doug Herzog, adding that technology provides better access for people to try to do it on their own, but that Comedy Central can provide brand recognition and a starting place. – CelebrityAccess staff writers.