US television conglomerate Viacom has signed a content deal to put its programming on Joost, the internet on-demand TV service from the men behind Skype.

The agreement means that TV shows from MTV, BET Networks, and film studio Paramount Pictures will be made available to watch for free on the Internet.

MTV's offering will include Laguna Beach, Beavis and Butthead, Real World and Punk'd,while Comedy Central will offer Freak Show and others.

At the moment Joost is only available in beta for both PC and Mac.

Co-founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Joost will be powered by a secure, efficient, piracy-proof internet platform that enables premium interactive video experiences while guaranteeing copyright protection for content owners and creators.

The service will be supported by TV-like advertising and will use peer-to-peer technology to distribute video content.

"People are looking for increased choice and flexibility in their TV experience, while the entertainment industry needs to retain control over their content", said Fredrik de Wahl, chief executive officer of Joost.

Joost can be accessed with a broadband internet connection and offers broadcast-quality content to viewers for free.