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TV DVD Strength Not 'Lost' on Disney

15 Sep, 2005 By: Judith McCourt

TV DVD is saving the day. With the fall season now beginning in the broadcast and cable arenas, many TV DVD season sets now coming to market are strategically timed to coincide with the TV debut of the new season.

The wisdom of such a strategy hit home last week when Buena Vista Home Entertainment's first-season set of “Lost” debuted on VideoScan's First Alert chart at No. 2, besting even one of the most highly anticipated family releases of the year, the 10th anniversary DVD of Toy Story, also from Buena Vista, which placed third.

Lost: The Complete First Season was released on DVD Sept. 6, just 15 days before the ABC network premiere of the highly acclaimed series' season two.

Home Media Research estimates Buena Vista sold almost 400,000 copies of “Lost,” which bears a hefty list price tag of $59.99.That translates to more than $16 million in consumer spending.

On top of that, “Lost” brought in another $2.26 million in rental dollars, an impressive sum realized by savvy rentailers who rent each of the seven discs separately and, thus, get multiple opportunities to capture incremental rental transactions.

“Lost” wasn't the only heavy-hitting TV DVD release on last week's chart. Paramount Home Entertainment's Charmed: The Complete Second Season debuted at No. 8, selling nearly 100,000 units and generating an estimated $3.2 million in consumer spending its first week out.

Warner Home Video's The O.C.: The Complete Second Season only slipped one notch, from No. 11 to No. 12, its third week in stores, its sales numbers propped up by the buzz surrounding the network season premiere of season three. Home Media Research estimates sales of the title are now nearing 325,000 units, with revenue of more than $15.5 million.

Taking a look at the First Alert top 20 sellers as a whole, TV DVD accounted for 21.5 percent of total unit sales.

The power of TV franchises is paying off handsomely for suppliers with a ready supply of programming and a strong base of consumers who are willing to pay premium prices to own their favorite TV series.

According to Home Media Research's 2004 Consumer Home Entertainment Study, more than 50 percent of consumers who had bought one or more TV DVD sets said their primary motivation was to add it to their collection. One-third of those surveyed said they wanted to see the season again.

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