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Coming to Your TV Set: Stuff You've Seen on the Web

YouTube channel Mondo Media is going to port its shows to Fusion's cable TV network. Expect to see more of this.

Mondo Media
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

In the early days of Internet video, lots of people wondered when things that started out on the Web would graduate to TV.

Now they don’t. It happens all the time.

Here’s the newest example: Mondo Media, a YouTube network that specializes in low-brow animation, is going to have a show on Fusion, the cable network co-owned by Univision and Disney/ABC.

It’s called “Like, Share, Die,” and if you want to get a sense of what you’re going to get when it airs, you can head over to Mondo’s YouTube channel. Or just take a look at the image at the top of this post. It’s from “Deep Space 69” — get it? — one of the network’s hit properties.

This makes plenty of sense. Mondo specializes in the kind of not-for-kids-and-not-for-olds animation that already does very well on TV — see: Turner’s Cartoon Network and its Adult Swim programming block — so porting it to a bigger screen is an easy, low-cost bet for Fusion.

But beyond that, the most newsworthy thing about this announcement is how commonplace this kind of announcement has become. Last week, for instance, Fusion announced it was going to port shows from Maker Studios, the YouTube network Disney bought earlier this year.

If you’re the kind of person who thinks last week’s announcements from CBS and HBO mean we’re quickly heading to a world where the TV bundle breaks apart, then these kinds of deals may become more important for the TV guys.

That’s because these deals represent — in theory — a way for the TV guys to grab low-cost shows from established talent. And in an unbundled world, the TV guys are going to put a premium on low-cost shows, because the easy money they’ve been getting from bundled carriage fees will be much harder to come by.

We’re not there yet. And if we get there it’s going to take longer than many of you think. But if we do, the future of TV might look like this:

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