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Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment Renews Distribution Deals

9 May, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Since Gaiam acquired Vivendi Entertainment for $13.4 million in March 2012, the combined Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment has signed on to every distribution deal that’s come up for renewal, secured new deals with Jim Henson Co. and Hallmark, and has seen both its physical and digital sales outpace the industry as a whole.

“This is an enormous reflection of how we’ve incorporated the Vivendi team. … We have a large market share and the capabilities of a studio, with the appetite of an independent,” said Bill Sondheim, president of Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.

Gaiam Vivendi this month announced continued relationships with five companies, extending distribution agreements with National Geographic Home Entertainment, Salient Media, Sonar Entertainment, Televisa and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

“Each one of these adds to our diversity,” Sondheim said. “We have the ability to reach any demographic.”

• The extension of the National Geographic home video agreement gives Gaiam Vivendi distribution rights in the United States and Canada for high-def content from National Geographic Channel, including “Doomsday Preppers,” “Wicked Tuna,” “Brain Games,” “Inside” and a catalog of hundreds of previously released titles.

• WWE will continue to use Gaiam Vivendi for both physical and digital distribution of programming — including PPV shows, classic programming and a deep catalog. The new multiyear deal will see Gaiam Vivendi distribute an even dozen PPV events each year, including Wrestlemania, Monday Night Nitro and War Games.

“WWE has been a true partner for us in every sense of the word,” Sondheim said. “Their passionate fan base continues to power our promotions year after year, and this deal helps to energize our retail partners and further fuel our growth.”

• The Salient Media extension will give Gaiam Vivendi an increased role in digital distribution and marketing of Salient’s comedy, horror and family titles, Sondheim said.

• For Sonar Entertainment, Gaiam Vivendi will distribute catalog and new-release titles through September 2015. The two companies had a previous distribution deal in place in 2009. Sonar specializes in TV series, miniseries and movies, with a library of more than 1,000 titles.

“I have no doubt that Gaiam Vivendi is the ideal licensing partner for us moving forward,” said Sonar president Stewart Till. “I’ve seen first-hand the great work they’ve done on our behalf since 2009, which made this an easy decision.”

• Top-rated Univision telenovelas, including “Amorcito Corazon,” “Por Ella Soy Eva” and “Abismo de Pasion,” will continue to be distributed by Gaiam Vivendi, thanks to an extended agreement with Televisa, the largest mass-media company in Latin America.

“We continue to see unprecedented growth in the Latin market, a trend that is only expected to continue,” Sondheim said. “Through its exclusive U.S. agreement with Univision, Televisa offers a great deal of fan-favorite television programming, and we are excited to help bring that to an even broader audience.”

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