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Yahoo to Debut Two Video Shows to Attract More Viewers

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. is expanding its push into video content with two new comedy shows.

The series of 30-minute episodes will be available on its website and through mobile applications, the company said in a statement yesterday. One program, called “Other Space,” will be developed by Paul Feig, who is known for “Freaks and Geeks” and “Bridesmaids.” Mike Tollin, who is behind “One Tree Hill” and “Varsity Blues,” will create a show called “Sin City Saints,” about managers of a professional basketball team.

Video is a key part of Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer’s effort to turn around the struggling Web portal. The new shows come as the company attracts more video viewers, with the number of visitors climbing 11 percent in the U.S. during March, according to ComScore Inc. Yahoo ranks fourth, trailing Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and AOL Inc.

“Increasingly, users are coming online for the things they used to turn on the television for just two years ago,” Mayer said at NewFront, an event Yahoo is hosting in New York this week to promote its video content. “This is a big opportunity for Yahoo.”

Yahoo is also announcing new programming from Katie Couric, the television journalist, that will begin this summer. The Web portal also is rolling out new advertising features, including promotions that use video.

“Everyone loves video,” Ned Brody, senior vice president, said in an interview. “We care about video because consumers and advertisers care.”

Yahoo is also partnering with Live Nation to show a concert every day for a year. Kellogg Co., the cereal maker, is an initial sponsor of the concert series.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson

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