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Joost Reaches '30s' Early

9 Jul, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Budding Internet TV service Joost July 16 will stream all eight episodes of new VH1 scripted comedy “I Hate My 30s” — 10 days before its televised debut, according to a company representative.

New York-based Joost — founded by the creators of file-sharing pioneer KaZaA and Internet telephone service Skype — in February signed a distribution deal with media giant Viacom Inc. for TV and movie content from its MTV Networks, BET Networks, VH1, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures units.

“My 30s” deals with the anxieties of late-20-year-olds coming to grips with the real world. It is set in a non-descript office and hosted by Dr. Rod, the unflappable guide who introduces each episode then comments on the events throughout the episode. This is the first content from the Joost-Viacom pact. The deal is seen by some as a proactive measure by Viacom to better control dissemination of its content over the Internet.

In March Viacom sued Google Inc.'s social video network site YouTube for $1 billion for alleged copyright infringement. The media giant reportedly is not distributing content via NBC Universal and News Corp.'s joint online video venture.

Viacom was among a group of investors that gave Joost $45 million in funding earlier this year.

Warner Bros. Television Group is slated to begin offering select programming on two ad-supported branded channels on Joost later this year.

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