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Bollywood masala soon to hit 6 million Indian homes in US

10-August-2004
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Bollywood masala soon to hit 6 million Indian homes in US

There’s some good news for the Indians abroad. Thanks to Schramm Sports and Entertainment and [212] Media, they will get to see some Bollywood masala as the duo is taking Bollywood to the largest TV operators in the US.

The two companies have created a joint venture to launch a video-on-demand service targeting South Asian communities this summer. BOD-VOD, which stands for ‘Bollywood on Demand – Video on Demand’, will offer content that would include movies, music videos, serials, news, special events and lifestyle programming from Indian media industry.

The first installment of BOD-VOD will feature contemporary classic Bollywood movies such as ‘Hum Dil De Chukke Sanam’ and ‘Rangeela’. BOD-VOD will be introduced to six million digital cable TV homes including those catered by the two largest Multiple System Operators in the United States – Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

Asked on how did they plan to reach out to the Indian audience, Joe Schramm, President, Schramm Sports and Entertainment, said: “While we built our Hispanic offering for cable operators, they asked us about ways in which we could help them reach the South Asian audience. This is a natural evolution of our business to help MSOs attract a variety of ethnic subscribers and to assist them in reducing churn.”

Referring to the new concept, Vinodh Bhat of [212] Media, said, “VOD is in the early stages and we are partnering with forward-thinking content providers and producers in India – those who want to aggressively and profitably market their programming in the US. The cable TV companies we are working with represent a credible and transparent channel for revenue generation.”

Schramm said, MSOs would either use the network moniker ‘BOD-VOD’ or re-brand the services with their own names. They foresee “flexible pricing strategies” for BOD-VOD, in which the programming could be provided as a subscription (SVOD) service for a monthly fee or as a free (FVOD) service, available to a greater number of digital homes of a particular cable TV system.

For Indian networks looking for carriage on US cable system, the VOD opportunity will serve as a test market to provide the critical data that cable operators require before committing to a more substantial carriage deal for a full-time linear network.

However, [212] Media is in talks with two communities in Bollywood – film producers or right holders and executives at television networks and are currently entertaining licensing deals with new content providers.

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