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Joost fires up its engines with Viacom deal, Mac beta

New stuff about the video start-up.

Hey TiVo, Slingbox, AppleTV, and everyone else who's trying to "bridge the content gap" between TV and broadband video--Joost might really pack a powerful punch. The start-up from the founders of Skype and Kazaa has been all over the news recently with new content deals, a Mac beta version, and an agreement in the works with Viacom to distribute programming from such cable mainstays as MTV and Comedy Central.

Last week, it was announced that the previously Windows-only private beta version of Joost would be available for Intel-based Macs. At the same time, Joost released new content from a whole host of partners, including National Geographic documentaries and classic cartoons like Rocky & Bullwinkle. (That one has me really pumped!)

But more importantly, just weeks after asking YouTube to pull any of its copyrighted content, media giant Viacom has opted to license its content to Joost. So when the peer-to-peer video software is launched in full--and there's no date set yet--you'll be able to watch content from MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, Paramount Pictures, and other Viacom-owned brands. Though it doesn't look like there will be any South Park or Colbert Report yet, there will be a smattering of new and old Viacom programming with more rolling out in the future.

There will certainly be more news and updates about Joost as it comes closer to launch: my personal prediction is that we'll be seeing some Internet TV equipment manufacturers trying to strike deals that will bring Joost's interface and content to televisions. But who knows? We'll keep you posted.

Previously: Webware takes Joost for a test run.