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Gaiam Expands Beyond Wellness with ‘Discovery’ Deal

15 Jun, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Gaiam Inc., a brand synonymous with fitness and lifestyle DVDs, June 15 said it signed an exclusive distribution deal with Discovery Communications to begin delivering the media company’s well-known packaged media (including Blu-ray) and electronic content as early as September.

Discovery’s television brands include the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, ID: Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, HD Theater and Military Channel.

Financial terms of the three-year deal, which includes catalog, were not disclosed. Genius Products and Image Entertainment currently distribute select Discovery titles separately.

Future DVD and Blu-ray releases will include complete seasons, themed collections or select single titles from a wide array of programming, including TLC’s reality shows “Jon & Kate Plus 8” and “The Little Couple”; Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” “Deadliest Catch” and “MythBusters”; and Animal Planet’s “River Monsters,” “Jockeys” and “World’s Ugliest Dog,” among others.

Kelly Day, COO of commerce and digital media for Discovery, said Gaiam would help expose the entire Discovery brand to more consumers through its strong presence at key retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods and Ralphs supermarkets, among others.

“By consolidating our distribution, we will be able to work more effectively with key video, mass and specialty retail accounts,” Day said. “We are also able to reach beyond traditional video and mass retail outlets with Gaiam and their well-established direct-to-consumer division.”

Bill Sondheim, president of entertainment and worldwide distribution at Gaiam, said the distributor would aggressively seek thematic tie-ins between TV programs at its “store-within-a-store” retail presence to “help those titles help each other.”

“We think the Discovery products speak to that higher [consumer] opportunity,” Sondheim said. “Depending on the retailer [and related demographics], we can create up to four-sided displays to really allow those products to cross-merchandise in the store-within-a-store environment. It’s something we have done a lot of and have a great deal of experience across various retail channels.”

Sondheim said that in addition to also releasing box sets for select retailers, the Discovery deal would afford Gaiam the ability to release its first Blu-ray titles.

“This content is so vibrant and so dramatic that we will very aggressively be taking out significant amounts of [it] onto Blu-ray,” he said. 

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