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Bollywood set to scale new heights in US

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 11:31 IST
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As Bollywood films made their most successful run ever in the US in 2006, a New York-based media company announced two new partnerships to expand North American distribution of hit films from India.

These new initiatives in partnership with Rogers Communications and Google Video would help BODVOD Networks, a company that holds exclusive rights to popular Indian movies from top studios such as UTV and Adlabs, make Bollywood films more accessible to all types of movie fans, the company said on Tuesday.

It has been a record-breaking year for Hindi films at the US box office in 2006.

Of the 14 foreign language films that have grossed over $2 million this year, a stunning seven have been in Hindi.

No other language has come close to contributing so many box office hits to the list. Spanish, despite being spoken by millions of more Americans, trails far behind as the next most popular foreign language at the US box office with only two films above the $2 million benchmark this year.

The industry has never seen more than two Hindi films surpass this box office level in the same year.

The seven hits of 2006 easily shattered the previous record and showed immense growth for Bollywood films in the US.

BODVOD Networks announced that beginning Jan 15, 2007, it would launch the distribution of its Bollywood films in Toronto with Canada's largest cable provider, Rogers Communications.

Rogers' digital cable subscribers will be able to order the newest Bollywood hit films on-demand and watch them whenever they want.

Recent blockbusters like India's 2007 Oscar entry "Rang De Basanti" starring Aamir Khan and the Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Swades", plus critically-acclaimed film festival favourites such as "15 Park Avenue" with Shabana Azmi and "36 China Town" starring Kareena Kapoor, will debut in the new year with additional hit films premiering every month.

In addition, BODVOD Networks announced the availability of feature films and other content on Google Video.

BODVOD's content is presented under the name Saavn and available at www.video.google.com/saavn .

The launch includes full-length movies available for immediate download representing some of the biggest recent Bollywood hits plus exclusive promotional videos, music clips, trailers, and more.

"We are extremely delighted to announce these two new deals which will help to bring the best of Bollywood to more movie fans," stated Vin Bhat, general manager of BODVOD Networks.

"With 2006 being a record year for Hindi films at the box office, we see a tremendous opportunity for growth in 2007 and beyond as Indian cinema becomes more popular and more accessible across North America," he added.

BODVOD Networks ( www.bodvod.com ) has exclusive rights to movies, music and TV shows from India, and it packages, distributes and markets this content for on-demand services on cable, Internet and mobile platforms.

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