Comcast Hunts for Ziddio Stars

Comcast launched two promotions for its Ziddio user-generated video site in separate deals with TV-production company Endemol USA and HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

With Endemol -- which produces shows including Deal or No Deal, Fear Factor and Big Brother -- Comcast is running the Ten Day Take contest through the end of February on Ziddio. Users submit ideas for a TV show, and the winner will be flown to Hollywood and given a $50,000 production budget to film a pilot.

The winner’s shoot will be completed in 10 days and documented with a “reality” series that will be available on Ziddio and on Comcast’s on-demand service.

With the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Comcast is running No Talent Nation, sponsored by music service Rhapsody. Would-be comedians can submit short comedy videos, and 10 winners will get the chance to perform live at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., Feb. 28-March 4. The winning comedy bits will also be featured online and on-demand.

Similar contests on Ziddio have included Join the Jedi Order with HBO/Cinemax and Clean House Search for the Messiest Home with Style.

The point of Ziddio is to “leverage Comcast’s leadership position in TV,” said Liz Schimel, Comcast Media Interactive’s senior vice president for entertainment. “We have the scope and audience both online and on television to do this, and we can aggregate partnerships across the board.”

With Ziddio content being fed back into Comcast’s video-on-demand service, Schimel added, “it’s broader than just viral video that gets shared on the Internet.”

Comcast, which launched Ziddio last month, would not disclose traffic figures for the site, but Schimel said Ziddio has already served “more than 1 million videos.”