Sony's Crackle Adding Web Shows, More Professional Content Comes Directly To The Web

Sony is set to announce a re-launch of video entertainment network site Crackle today, with a roll-out of a number of new web shows including sketches by L.A. comedy troupe “The Groundlings”, a video game show called “The Jace Hall Show” and a five-minute talk show dubbed “Anytime with Bob Kushell” hosted by a Hollywood writer.

Sony’s media business, Sony Pictures Entertainment, will be using the types of production techniques that it puts into movies and TV to resemble other online programming by staying short, often no more than five minutes long, reports Reuters. Crackle’s season begins December 1.

Last August, Sony Pictures partnered up with Rocketboom, acquiring the worldwide distribution rights to in all media, putting the daily show on, presenting the show with a Crackle player on the website and distributing it over its syndication network. See RocketBoom founder Andrew Baron’s take on the upcoming announcement here.

Crackle used to be Grouper, before Sony bought the startup for a reported $65 million in the Summer of 2006. The Reuters report cites 2.4 million visitors in October, according to research firm The Nielsen Online Co., while Compete shows higher number and a nice growth pattern.