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Columbia TriStar Inks Deal With Discovery

11 Jul, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Spider-Man's home is opening its doors to “The Crocodile Hunter.” Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (CTHE) and Discovery Communications Inc. (DCI) have signed an exclusive distribution partnership for DCI programming in the United States and Canada.

The agreement, which takes effect Aug. 16, will include exclusive rights to all programs on Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery HD Theater and Discovery en Español.

“We had a distribution partnership with another company that was coming to a close, so last year we talked to most of the major distributors,” said Sharon Markowitz Bennett, SVP, global licensing, Discovery Consumer Products.

“We had terrific conversations with Columbia TriStar and they clearly were the best partner for Discovery,” Bennett said. “They clearly are leaders in home entertainment, and we think they're a unique fit for Discovery content and we're thrilled with the partnership.”

Discovery product was previously distributed through Artisan Home Entertainment, now Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

The partnership with CTHE, inked for an undisclosed number of years, fits right into the studio's product reach, said Marshall Forster, EVP of sales, North America and Canada, for CTHE.

“We have a great affinity for specialized product,” he said. “[Discovery] absolutely complements what we've already been doing. Through Sony Pictures Classics, we've been releasing documentary programs.”

Specific plans on which programming to release first and on what formats are still in the very early stages, but the two companies hope to have product in the pipeline in time for the holiday shopping season, Forster said.

The deal includes current and new programming from DCI, as well as programming created for the cable channels prior to the agreement.

CTHE plans on keeping a healthy slate of Discovery in the market, Forster added.

“Discovery will have a strong presence at retail,” he said.

“Everybody from Amazon to Wal-Mart will support this, we expect.”

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