Chum, Joost strike deal


TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Chum Ltd. on Wednesday unveiled plans to deliver select TV programming through Joost, the soon-to-be-launched rival to YouTube.

The deal between the two companies will see a host of content from MuchMusic, a music-themed cable channel, become available on the video-sharing site.

Terms of the distribution deal were not disclosed, but Maria Hale, vp of business development at Chum, said the Canadian broadcaster expects to make money through an unspecified advertising revenue split with Joost.

Hale added that the Canadian broadcaster was drawn to Joost for its closed peer-to-peer file-haring network that minimizes piracy and enables tracking of content viewing as wells as the pedigree of its founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who earlier launched and ran Skype and Kazaa.

"The lineage made us return the call. They (Zennstrom and Friis) come from a major success with Skype, they really understand grassroots marketing and how to use media in a way that adds value to people's lives," Hale said. "If these things catch on, we want to be at the forefront."

Yvette Alberdingkthijm, executive vp of content strategy and acquisition for Joost, praised Chum for seeing value in the Web TV platform at the concept stage, even before its founders produced a beta system.

"For us, they (Chum) are huge because they saw the light early," she said, adding that the Canadian broadcaster's core youth audience for MuchMusic and other cable nets is similar to that targeted by Joost.

"We feel that (Chum) early on understood the capability of the Joost platform and understood how it can bring their content closer to their viewers," Alberdingkthijm added.

The Chum programming will include TV profiles and performances by a host of international music artists including Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, P!nk, the White Stripes, Evanescence and Broken Social Scene.

Toronto-based Chum also will make programming available from cable channels Space and Fashion Television as well as the lifestyle magazine show CityLine.

Last month, Viacom struck a similar content deal with Joost after failing to convince YouTube to pull its programming on copyright infringement grounds.

Hale said Chum already works informally with YouTube to promote its TV content. In early February, CityNews ombudsman Peter Silverman was attacked by a shop owner when investigating his optician business for allegedly selling counterfeit frames.

Chum immediately uploaded the attack footage to YouTube, where it was viewed and picked up by a host of international media outlets, including CNN.

Joost last week announced another Canadian content deal, this time with Toronto-based Webcaster JumpTV Inc. agreeing to deliver select international cable networks to JumpTV-branded channels.