We're about to learn how to say SpongeBob SquarePants in Mandarin. Nickelodeon parent Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA ) (NASDAQ: VIAB ) and Chinese dot-com darling Sohu.com (NASDAQ: SOHU ) are teaming up to offer hundreds of hours of Nickelodeon programming on Sohu's popular video portal.
SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Avatar -- the show, not the movie -- are just some of the Nickelodeon programming that will be available on Sohu Video starting next weekend.
The deal calls for Nickelodeon's content -- dubbed in Mandarin but also available with subtitles -- to be available for free to China's 389 million online-video consumers. The content-licensing partnership will span only 12 months, but there's little reason to expect it to come undone by the end of next year if it's beneficial to both parties.
The timing of the deal couldn't be any sweeter. China approved the rollout of its first commercial 4G wireless service yesterday, a move that will speed up mobile connections and likely increase demand for digital-video content. That's something that even a curmudgeon like SpongeBob SquarePant's Squidward Tentacles can get excited about.