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Sony Spins Sampler Discs

24 Oct, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is using its TV catalog to squeeze a few more dollars out of consumers.

The studio will offer a disc of three 1964 TV episodes from the first season of “Bewitched,” starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, with the Oct. 25 DVD release of the theatrical feature Bewitched, starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, for $22.99.

The DVD is available without the episodes for $20.99.

The TV episodes “I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha,” “Be It Ever So Mortgaged” and “It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog” will not be included with the UMD or VHS releases. The commingling of TV and theatrical fare is part of an ongoing trend at Sony to maximize revenue from its extensive catalog and the recent acquisition of MGM.

This fall, Sony is partnering with an undisclosed national retailer to include DVD preview discs of catalog TV shows and movies with select DVD titles.

“If you buy a season of the ‘King of Queens,' you could get a free sampler disc of other shows,” said Marc Rashba, VP of marketing. “We want to be out in front of the TV DVD buying audience and give them something free to entice them to purchase shows, dramas and sitcoms they might not have been aware of.”

The sampler discs will be targeted to the retailer's typical consumer. Discs also will be paired with appropriate samplers; for instance, the sampler paired with “Stargate SG-I” will appeal to sci-fi fans.

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