Michael Eisner’s new media studio, Vuguru received a chunk of change from Canadian media giant, Rogers Communications in late 2009. The deal gave Rogers a multi-year exclusive on Canadian rights to Vuguru properties on all platforms, including web, TV, and mobile. The deal gave Vuguru enough cash to make the announcement it would triple production in 2010, releasing at least 10 to 15 new web series.
Things haven’t gone quite as planned. We’re less than eight weeks out from New Years Eve 2011 and Vuguru’s released less than a handful of series. The studio debuted the third season of the teen thriller Prom Queen in Canada, shopped Pretty Tough to international markets in Cannes, and announced an international distribution deal for The Booth with Fireworks International.
So, what happened to the dozen or so other promised web series? To watch those, you’ll probably have to wait until 2011, and you’ll probably have to go to AOL.
Brian Stelter at the New York Times broke the news that Vuguru signed a deal to produce at least half a dozen scripted web series for the newly revamped online destination. No financial terms were disclosed and no word yet on the content of the productions, but expect high-quality comedies and dramas released in installments five to 20 minutes long.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had this to say about the partnership:
“In joining forces with Vuguru and other premier studios and production companies, AOL is uniquely able to bridge that gap by bringing top quality, original video to the millions of users who come to our site each day. The magical combination of AOL’s impressive reach with one of the most visionary content creators will help us become a market leader in this largely untapped space.”
I told you AOL was getting series about web series (a couple times now). The site is leveraging its massive traffic to drive views to a slate of fresh, original programming. Just this week, AOL launched the Next New Networks web show production, The One as part of its new lineup of daily video offerings, including celebrity messaging platform, You’ve Got and morning talk show, AOL Daybreak.