Bollywood On Demand - The Sequel

I wrote last year about Bollywood dishum dishum being available at a set top box near you if a) you were so inclined and b) lived in a select market such as the Bay Area. This was a pilot program launched by Comcast in conjunction with BODVOD, owned by [212]media, a NYC based company.

So, how is it doing? A recent press release from [212]Media provides the answer:

Our movies, mostly Bollywood, are available in over 11 million digital cable households and we've been seeing a major uptick in the number of transactions over the last 6 months.

Not too shabby, eh? That's a lot of masala down those cable pipes! Hopefully, the internet tubes won't get too clogged :-) And, there's more on the way:

After a recent trip to India, we've secured the latest content as well as the classic movies. This month, we're airing 'Rang De Basanti' and have 'Bluffmaster', 'Swades', 'Deewane Huye Paagal' and 'Krrish' all scheduled to air this Fall. The rise in interest for Hindi film has also convinced Cable Operators such as Time Warner to invest in the marketing of these movies through buying ads in print, television and the Web. You'll also notice the 'Bollywood' category on Time Warner's International Movies on Demand Channel (Channel 500) here in New York has more films available than any other category.

This is a turning point of sorts for us. Everyone already knows that Hindi movies are only shown in about 80 theaters across the country and people can't purchase DVDs at Barnes & Noble or Best Buy.

The point about availability is particularly important. Renting DVDs from my friendly local desi grocer is becoming less and less of an option - the film transfer is frequently horrendous and popular titles turn out to be too scratched for smooth playback. Netflix? Forget it - the wait is way too long and their inventory is still too limited. For a company who relied on Bollywood rentals in their early phases, that's a damn shame. In any case, there's a market opportunity here and [212]media (not to mention Time Warner and Comcast) seems well placed to capitalize.

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- September 17, 2006 8:58 PM // Bollywood , Technology