Joost, Saavn team on Bollywood channel

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NEW DELHI -- Internet television service Joost has launched a dedicated Bollywood music channel following a pact with New York-based South Asian digital content provider Saavn, a unit of BODVOD Networks.

"This particular deal is for the most popular Bollywood music videos, including recent releases, current hits and timeless classics. Films are a part of the roadmap for later this year," Saavn managing director Vin Bhat said Tuesday.

Joost users will not be charged any fees for the Saavn Bollywood Music Channel.

"There is a growing appetite for Bollywood films and music around the world, but until now there hasn't been widespread access to great Bollywood programming," said Yvette Alberdingk, Joost executive vp content strategy and acquisition. "As a global distribution platform, Joost is a destination where people connect over their favorite programming, and our partnership with Saavn demonstrates the range and depth of the programming on Joost."

Founded by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, Joost combines the TV and Internet experiences in an online TV distribution platform that brings together advertisers, content owners and viewers in an interactive, community-driven environment.

Saavn acquires, packages and markets Bollywood and other South Asian films, music and TV shows on all on-demand media platforms worldwide.

Launched in 2006, BODVOD Networks was the first video-on-demand service offering Bollywood movies and music on cable VOD, broadband and mobile through more than 30 major distribution partners such as Time Warner, Cox, iTunes and others. SaavnMobile.com provides Bollywood ringtones, wallpaper and other mobile content to consumers in the U.S.

In May, BODVOD entered a five-year agreement with Burbank-based television-on-demand company TVN Entertainment Corp. to launch Saavn.com as a dedicated on-demand channel offering Bollywood content including movies on subscription.

Established in 2004, BODVOD -- a joint venture between [212]MEDIA, Hungama mobile and cable marketer Schramm Sports & Entertainment -- has licensing arrangements with Bollywood film studios and music labels including UTV, Adlabs, Yashraj, T-Series and others.
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