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Supplier Barks Up TV DVD Tree With 'Dog'

23 Apr, 2006 By: Brendan Howard

The DVD release of TV's “Dog Whisperer” isn't just a first for Cesar Millan. It's also the first TV DVD release from Screen Media Films. The supplier's titles, distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment, have previously been only films.

Now was the time to dive in, said Suzanne Blech, SVP of sales and acquisition.

“The TV DVD marketplace over the past three years has been the driver for sellthrough for DVD,” Blech said. “Every one of our major accounts has a TV DVD section.”

Blech said Screen Media was thrilled to start out with the National Geographic Channel's “Dog Whisperer.”

“Certain studios out there have exclusive relationships with National Geographic, so we thought it was a given where it was going to go,” she said. “But they allowed us to meet with them. This might not be the biggest thing for a major studio, but we're like a guerrilla team.”

Screen Media will target not just DVD retailers, but also “wherever a dog owner might be,” said president Robert Baruc. He mentioned dog shelters, veterinarians, pet magazines and pet groomers as possible marketing targets.

And Screen Media isn't waiting for the dust to settle on its first TV DVD venture. Baruc said the supplier has other deals in the works, just as quirky as its initial foray into the category.

“We're not interested in the more classic TV programming,” he said. “We're looking for more projects that have a niche, that have a strong fan base: dog owners, cat owners, golfers, cooks, money managers.”

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