HBO‘s hit series, Flight of The Conchords is a natural fit for the web: dopey irreverence with a wry wink is precisely the hip sensibility that most of my digital contemporaries seek (you may recall that last season Mel had a video blog), so the fact that its new season will premier early on Funny or Die is certainly no surprise.

It’s an interesting stunt for a premium network that needs young people and an internet-video property without a clear mandate.

The first episode of season 2, which is set to premier on HBO next month, will be available on  Funny or Die on Wednesday, December 17th at 12:00 p.m. EST.

But as HBO – which actively experiments with digal media – delves deeper into the abyss, it will face an existential crisis.

Though its special sauce is a premium brand and excellent development process that attracts top talent from all angles, its primary business is servicing cable affiliates with high-margin add-ons. VOD services like Netflix scare the s#!t out of HBO  because it threatens their principal revenue stream. In the same way, the whole internet must scare them.

We’ve argued that onine video doesn’t need, and won’t have, an HBO. Open distribution changes the equation. Networks are a construct of the technical limitations of old TV. The web is different. As Jeff Jarvis once noted, portals are a thing of the past.

HBO is in a strong position to transition itself as a content studio for new media, but it will be loathe  to give up its position as a portal for premium content for a world in which the revenue model isn’t yet exactly clear.

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