Yahoo's online video lineup has been a mishmash. It's included feeds from all over TV and the Web, plus a ragtag lineup of original TV shows that haven't drawn anything like the critical acclaim of those from rivals such as Netflix.
But the online giant promised to go big on original programming when it presented its lineup of new shows at Lincoln Center in New York City this week. This includes not only new comedy shows but also news programs and live concert broadcasts.
Yahoo has always focused on comedy, with Ben Stiller-backed dating-show satire "Burning Love," as the breakout hit with its comedy star cameos. Its other comedies, such as "Ghost Ghirls" have been small-scale, YouTube-ish affairs. But Yahoo is upping its game with two new comedies, set to premier in 2015, from established TV and movie talents.
"Sin City Saints" by director Bryan Gordon (of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office" and "Party Down") is a behind-the-scenes satire about Las Vegas's fictional pro basketball expansion team.
"Other Space," by Paul Feig (of "Freaks and Geeks," "Bridesmaids" an "The Office"), is a comedy set in the 22nd century about rookie astronauts who discover a parallel universe.
Yahoo's live TV
2015 is a way's off. But Yahoo will be launching another online TV feature this summer — free live streaming of one new music concert per day for an entire year. The deal is part of a partnership with concert ticket-seller Live Nation.
Concerts is part of a live streamed TV lineup that will also include red-carpet coverage of entertainment events, such as the premieres of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" and "X-men Days of Future Past." Lastly, Yahoo has announced a deal with the NFL for a program called "NFL Now" that brings live highlights and analysis of in-progress games (but not full game coverage).
Yahoo started looking serious about news coverage when it recruited heavyweights like former Today Show host Katie Couric and former New York Times tech reporter David Pogue to head up new news divisions. At Yahoo's NewFront, Couric introduced a slate of news shows launching this summer.
"World 3.0" will focus on inventors, businesspeople and others who are "disrupting" the way the world works. As an example of what to expect, Couric recounted her recent (somewhat fawning) interview with Chet Kanojia, CEO of Aereo, which is currently in a high-profile Supreme Court case over its business model of streaming broadcast TV over the Internet.
The second show, "Now I Get It," is a kind of Dummies Guide for topics that are all over the news but perhaps not really well understood. As examples, Couric gave the topics of how does Bitcoin work, and who is Edward Snowden, the NSA spying leaker.
The new Yahoo Travel site, which just launched during the NewFront presentation on Monday night (Apr. 28) will be launching its own show, as well. "Yahoo Travel Photo Tripping" follows photographer Melanie Dunea as she visits different cities to provider an insider view. Based on the clips Yahoo showed, these journeys often involve food.