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A&E Posts Strongest Sales Jump in Its History

7 Mar, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf

A&E Home Video posted a 17 percent sales increase for 2001 over the previous year — the strongest year in the company's decade in the video business. The jump came thanks to DVD growth and strong titles like The History Channel's Pearl Harbor documentary, The Avengers and Monty Python boxed sets, and the Pride and Prejudice special edition DVD.

Kate Winn, director of marketing for A&E Home Video said DVD accounts for nearly 60 percent of sales and the company expects that number to increase this year as DVD penetration stays on an upward climb.

“We're moving toward offering some things on DVD only,” Winn said. “The penetration [rate] of DVD is so phenomenoal you really feel the effects of it constantly.”

A&E's DVD-only strategy begins with the March 26 release of the Peter Gunn DVD sets 1 & 2. The sets include episodes from the late 1950s noir detective series.

Winn said the company also plans to release more episodes of bestselling cult TV series like “The Avengers” and “Monty Python's Flying Circus.”

Winn said DVD has played a large role in the collectability of product like this. “If you wanted to have every episode of ‘Monty Python' and could only get it on VHS, it would take up your whole house,” she said.

The company is looking at releasing more DVD megasets featuring programming from The History Channel and The Biography Channel, as well as original productions from the A&E Network.

“It's not just about early adoptors anymore,” Winn said. “We will continue expanding our network programs into DVD.”

She said A&E is fourth in market share on the TV DVD category, behind HBO Home Video, with “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City”; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which has “The X-Files” and “Planet of the Apes” product; and Paramount Home Entertainment, with “Star Trek” and “Survivor.”

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