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A&E Mounts Couple of Online DVD Initiatives

6 Dec, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

A&E Networks will make more than 200 of its library titles available in DVD+R format and will expand into the Latino market with titles available exclusively at shopaetv.com.

The titles, culled from programming on A&E, The History Channel and The Biography Channel, will not be offered to other retailers, only as direct-marketing items.

The programs are organized under “The Best of” headings for each channel. “The Best of A&E” includes an “America's Castles” three-pack with The History of God, The True Story of Seabiscuit and The Irish in America; “The Best of Biography” includes bios on Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley and others; “The Best of The History Channel” will include The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Final Chapter; D-Day: The Total Story and The World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon, among others.

The discs are promoted as “a noninteractive, play-only disc with a single-button menu,” and many of the titles have never been offered on DVD before.

The Spanish-language line, DVD Library En Español, will include 28 titles dubbed in Spanish and 26 English-language titles chosen for their appeal to English-speaking Latinos.

In a separate initiative, A&E Television Networks has begun putting streamed trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, directors' commentaries, interviews and other bonus materials on its aetv.com, biography.com, biographychannel.com and historychannel.com Web sites. The new features let A&E reach its fans with targeted materials and measure their use. “We can determine the actual viewership of each delivery and adjust our media distribution plan accordingly,” said William Corbin, VP of interactive distribution for A&E Networks.

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