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TV on DVD Will Thrive, Summit Panelists Say

19 Jun, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

Don't tell Todd Rowan, SVP of marketing for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, that the success of TV on DVD is dwindling.

“The bubble's not bursting, it's maturing,” he said, adding his company has several catalog gems waiting in the wings. “It's entering the next phase of its evolution.”

“We will see growth ahead,” agreed Jeff Brown, SVP and GM for TV, animation, family and franchise properties of Warner Home Video, at the sixth annual Home Entertainment Summit: DVD & Beyond, which ended June 19.

And, unlike so many other corners of the home media market, TV on DVD is not nearly as threatened by piracy.

“[The consumer] has already seen it on TV for free,” Brown pointed out. “It's something you can't repeat on TV … and it can't be duplicated in digital.”

“The main reason why I don't think TV on DVD is going away … is you've got breaks [between seasons, or within a season],” said The DVD Group President David Naylor, adding that all the special features for an upcoming HBO DVD set will be in HD. “It's commercial television without the commercials.”

“There's a collectibility concept [with TV on DVD],” Brown said. “It's a key element of our marketplace that doesn't get serviced in any other medium.”

Clearing the music rights in TV properties remains the single largest obstacle in bringing out many catalog titles. Rowan said his company would love to release “The Wonder Years” on DVD, but music issues are in the way. They won't change the music either, because “you don't want to compromise the quality of the show,” he said.

And TV on DVD likely will have a second life on a high-definition format.

“Look at ‘Planet Earth,’ Brown said. “It's the No. 1 selling high-def [title]. It just shows the quality of the product.”

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