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Hispanic, 'Bollywood’ VOD On the Boards

4/11/2004 8:00 PM Eastern

Schramm Sports & Entertainment is jumping into the video-on-demand realm, working with a pair of services targeting the Hispanic and South Asian communities that could launch as early as this July.

The New York-based multicultural-marketing specialist is providing the marketing and strategic-distribution support behind Sol VOD and Bod VOD, according to president Joe Schramm.

Sol VOD aggregates Spanish-language programming from five genres: music, kids, sports, talk and cooking.

Schramm said Antena 3, a programmer from Spain, is supplying some of the programming. Much of the cooking fare will come from South American producers, while multiple sources will supply the all-animated kids’ lineup, some of which will be seen in the United States for the first time.

Bod VOD will amalgamate an array of movies, series and music videos from India’s “Bollywood” community.

In addition to appealing to people originating from that nation, Schramm said the programming — which will also include religious and philosophical shows and fitness-and-yoga fare — also would attract viewers of Afghani, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent.

Schramm said MSOs could either use the network monikers or rebrand them with their own names.

Although he wouldn’t disclose specific rate-card information, Schramm is seeking licensing fees for both services. While he primarily envisions Sol as a VOD complement to existing Hispanic networks, Schramm foresees more “flexible” pricing for Bod VOD, which could be positioned as a subscription-VOD service, he believes.

Schramm said he has conversations with a number of MSOs, but he has yet to strike any carriage deals.

Comcast senior director of multicultural marketing Mauro Panzera, speaking at a panel session Schramm moderated at Horowitz Associates Inc.’s 4th Annual Forum on the State of Cable and Broadband in New York on March 30, mentioned that his MSO was open to ethnic VOD and SVOD offerings.

“Those are great platforms to cover the prisms of multiethnicity,” he said.

Jim Honiotes, vice president of marketing and communications at International Channel Networks, said his company is looking to augment its current SVOD offerings. “This is going to become an even more important part of our future, serving audiences beyond introductory programming,” he said.

International Channel Networks currently makes SVOD programming available to MSOs carrying its dedicated, in-language networks serving Korean, Vietnamese and Russian viewers.

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