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Boxed Sets Gaining Ground on Single Discs

31 Oct, 2003 By: Thomas K. Arnold

While most everyone agrees that “complete season” boxed sets of TV shows is the primo way to go, the majority of TV DVD releases that have come on the market have been single discs, according to the DVD Release Report.

Of the 1,409 TV DVD releases tracked by the weekly industry tip sheet, 811, or 57 percent, were single-disc releases. Boxed sets accounted for just 220 releases.

DVD Release Report editor Ralph Tribbey, however, admits the results are a little skewed, since the trend toward releasing multiple-disc collections of entire seasons didn't really begin to blossom until the past few years.

“In the early years, we saw a lot of public domain television shows put out by independent suppliers,” Tribbey said. “You're looking at ‘Bonanza,' shows like that -- and mostly odd episodes, with no full-season packages.”

Tribbey's contention is backed by release patterns for calendar 2003 through Oct. 24.

Tribbey's data shows suppliers released 241 single discs and 118 boxed sets, “which is more boxed sets than in all previous years combined,” he noted.

Of the single-disc TV DVD releases, again, the majority are public domain titles. They're joined by single-disc “best of” releases of popular shows like “Friends,” from Warner Home Video, as well as British television shows like BBC's “Are You Being Served?,” which are often released on DVD domestically in single-disc installments.

Steve Feldstein, SVP of marketing communications for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, said of the two-dozen TV DVD releases issued by his studio this year, every one was a multidisc boxed set.

“We've found our consumers want to own entire seasons, not selected episodes,” he said. “Favorite episodes are subjective.”

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