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TV DVD Sales Still Growing

9 Jan, 2008 By: John Latchem

TV DVD Sales Still GrowingBy John LatchemAmid a down year for home video in general, unit sales for the TV DVD market enjoyed a 3% bump in 2007 over 2006. This segment also carved out a larger piece of the home entertainment pie. TV DVD product represented 19% of all DVD releases in 2007, up from 18% the year before, according to Nielsen Videoscan data.

“TV DVD continues to be a popular category, and being up proves that there are still pockets of growth in the business,” said Steve Feldstein, SVP of corporate and marketing communications for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment had the top-selling TV DVD title in 2007 with the Disney Channel movie High School Musical 2. The original film had been the top TV DVD seller of 2006, was No. 3 in 2007 and some time in October surpassed Chappelle's Show: Season 1 to become the all-time top TV DVD seller.

The hugely popular British nature documentary Planet Earth: The Complete Series, from BBC Video, finished No. 2 for the year, but was the highest-selling complete-season set, a remarkable feat considering its near-$80 price tag.

“This celebration of the wonders of our planet was at the same time a gentle warning of what we have to lose,” said Burton Cromer, SVP of consumer products for BBC Worldwide. “That beauty and that message resonated — from Oprah Winfrey to retailers and consumers everywhere.”

Planet Earth received a huge boost from high-definition sales to consumers looking to show off their HDTVs using the stunning footage from the show. The title, released on both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, is easily the all-time top selling TV show on high-def disc, with high-def sales accounting for nearly 17% of all Planet Earth home video sales.

For comparison, a Blu-ray Disc of High School Musical 2, the No. 3 all-time high-def TV release, made up less than 1% of that title's total sales.

“Our success in high-def was something we always expected,” Cromer said. “No theatrical film could offer the high-def consumer the sheer variety, the breathtaking imagery, the dramas and the dangers that our planet can.”

Even with the push provided by Planet Earth, high-def television product only represents around one-tenth of a percent of all TV DVD sales.

The highest selling season set for an ongoing series in 2007 was Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Heroes: Season 1, which finished at No. 4. Universal also benefited from a groundswell of support for its NBC comedy “The Office”; DVDs of the first three seasons all cracked the top 10 for the year.

In addition to the original High School Musical, Fox's Family Guy Vol. 4 and The Office: Season One carried over from the 2006 top 10 list.

When all home entertainment formats are factored into the mix, the all-time top selling TV home video is the animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which enjoyed a popular run on VHS and a resurgence on DVD, followed closely by High School Musical.

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