peHUB: This Portfolio Company Does Not Suck

August 14, 2009

by Alastair Goldfisher, in peHUB

I'm not accustomed to reading a press release and seeing the word "sucks," as in "That Sucks."

But that was the case today when I was poring over an embargoed release for Rooftop Comedy, a portfolio company of Azure Capital Partners.

San Francisco-based Rooftop is announcing on Monday the launch of a TV series called That Sucks that Azure General Partner Mike Kwatinetz says is the first TV series that combines social networking and the Internet with the power of standard broadcast television.

"The TV industry has been learning how to combine the Internet with its programming and That Sucks is a big leap in the evolutionary process," he says.

Most of you may be familiar with Rooftop Comedy for their 15,000-plus hours of content that it hosts on its site of live comedy performances. Hulu and others also features Rooftop Comedy material (for some of you, parental guidance is probably suggested even with all the bleeped words).

At the heart of That Sucks is what the company calls a Sucksbox, a Web and mobile platform that asks the public to respond via text, audio or video to the question: "What do you think sucks?" The funniest Sucksbox submissions will then be broadcast with other Rooftop Comedy programming on the cable program MavTV, which is apparently carried by most cable networks nationwide.

Kwatinetz says that another interesting thing about That Sucks, which should get the attention of the TV industry, is how affordable it costs to produce. He noted that scripted programs on broadcast TV costs about $50,000 a minute to produce. Reality TV costs about one-third of the scripted programming and Rooftop Comedy's content costs less than 10% of Reality TV.

Kwatinetz is not only a board member of Rooftop Comedy, he says he also watches the programming on the site about once a week. Azure invested about $2.5 million in the company in a Series A round in 2007. Kwatinetz says that the company is doing well, thanks in part to some partnership agreements with Microsoft, Yahoo, Current TV, Apple and Hulu.

I suggested that the company is an unusual investment for the San Francisco-based Azure. But Kwatinetz pointed to the firm's portfolio, which includes BlogHer,, and Knowledge Adventure, among other consumer-oriented Internet-related companies.

"We have a lot of Web and new media companies that are looking to take the next step in developing their Web strategy," he says. "What Rooftop is doing with That Sucks represents the next step."


November 28, 2012
Rooftop Comedy To Release New Album From Satiric Folk Duo Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits

November 12, 2012
Star-Studded Cast Revisits 1972 Classic "Free To Be... You And Me"

July 2, 2012
Adam Norwest's ONE OF A KIND Available From Rooftop Comedy Productions on July 17, 2012

June 22, 2012
Beth Stelling To Record Debut Comedy Album At Chicago's The Comedy Bar July 20 & 21

June 5, 2012
Danny Bevins' "Inappropriate" To Be Released By Rooftop Comedy Productions On June 12, 2012

May 29, 2012
Nato Green's Debut Album “The Nato Green Party” To Be Released By Rooftop Comedy Productions On June 5, 2012

April 10, 2012
Rooftop Comedy Productions To Release Debut Title From Comedian Mike Brody on April 24

April 2, 2012
Nato Green To Record Live Comedy Album in Oakland on May 8, 2012

March 23, 2012
Rooftop Comedy Productions Re-Releases Latest Album From Nick Griffin on April 3

February 28, 2012
New Album By Andy Hendrickson Available From Rooftop Comedy Productions on March 13

February 13, 2012
Rooftop Comedy Productions To Release Self-Titled Debut From Billy Wayne Davis on February 21

July 28, 2011
Rooftop Media Selected as an AlwaysOn Global 250 Winner

May 18, 2011
Winner of Rooftop Comedy’s National College Comedy Competition To Perform on TBS’s Late-Night Hit Lopez Tonight

May 9, 2011
Rooftop Comedy Partners with Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center to Present Comedy Festival in Lucille Ball's Honor

February 17, 2011
CMT's Next Big Comic starts today

January 20, 2011
Epidemic of Funny: Rooftop Comedy's National College Comedy Competition Presented by TBS Begins Second Year

June 4, 2010
Mass Video Murder: Comedy Kills Online

May 3, 2010
Aliph Launches "Jawbone Stimulus Funny Video Contest" With $10,000 Grand Prize

March 16, 2010
TBS to Present 3rd Annual Rooftop Comedy National College Comedy Competition

February 16, 2010
Rooftop Media to Provide Comedy Content to U.S Army for Safety Training Videos

February 8, 2010
CMT and Rooftop Comedy Search for America's "Next Big Comic"

December 16, 2009
Rooftop Comedy’s Moshe Kasher Named iTunes Best New Comedian of 2009

November 17, 2009
Rooftop Media Expands Comedy Club Network Adding Mottley's & Lincoln Lodge

October 15, 2009
Rooftop Comedy Accepting Submissions for 2 Funny Film Competitions

August 25, 2009
Rooftop Media Takes Flight with digEcor Distribution Deal

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