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Warner Eyes Women with ‘Lifetime' Line

22 Apr, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Warner Home Video has signed an exclusive deal with Lifetime Entertainment Services for home video distribution of the cable channel's original movies.

Under the multi-year deal, Warner would have immediate access to a library of about 20 specials, series and longform titles developed or acquired by Lifetime.

The network plans to produce upwards of 20 films in 2005 that Warner would release for retail periodically, based on promotional tie-ins with the network and retailers, according to Christine Martinez, Warner's VP of nontheatrical franchise marketing.

“We'll be announcing titles and a six-month release schedule in the next 30 days,” Martinez said.

Undisclosed pricing on the videos would be consistent with other Warner releases, Martinez said.

Catalog titles currently available to the branded Lifetime Home Video line include Homeless to Harvard, a drama based on the life of a young woman who was born in poverty to drug-addicted parents but managed to make it to Harvard University, and Obsessed, a psychological drama about a gifted medical writer jailed for an alleged obsession with a married doctor.

Todd Unger, Lifetime's SVP of brand extensions, said DVD and VHS versions of the network's original movies “are the single most requested item from our viewers.”

Martinez said the Lifetime Original Movies banner “uniquely complements Warner's nontheatrical distribution strategy” of maximizing familiar brands such as the NFL, NBA and NHL professional sport leagues; National Geographic; and Leap Frog children's programming.

“We're taking that brand beyond what would be considered core, which for Lifetime is taking their built-in audience and extending it into a new market,” Martinez said.

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