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‘Sanctuary’ TV DVD to Have Special Rental Configuration

29 Jun, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Sanctuary: The Complete First Season

E1 Entertainment is giving rental stores more bang for their buck with a unique rental-ready offering of the first season of the Sci Fi Channel series “Sanctuary.”

Priced the same as the sellthrough boxed set, $44.98, the rental configuration includes an extra copy of the first disc in the series, for five discs total, each in their own Amaray case with unique cover wraps.

Dan Gurlitz, VP of video for E1, said the rental-specific offering will hopefully draw more renters to the series, and boost revenue for rentailers.

“No one’s going to come in and say ‘I’ve never seen this show before, I’ll start with disc two,’” he said. “What we’re trying to do is make the series more attractive to the consumer and more profitable for the rental store.”

With the individual Amarays and unique packaging for each disc, including episode lists, the rental option comes ready for display, with no work required by the store.

“With an extra disc one included in this new configuration, twice the number of consumers can launch into ‘Sanctuary’ at the same time and thus assist in the driving of rentals of the remaining discs,” Gurlitz said.

TVShowsOnDVD.com’s Gord Lacey called E1’s tactic “brilliant,” and compared the venture to that of a “24” promotion by the Rogers Video chain in Canada, where renters could get the first disc for free.

“That got people hooked on the series and ensured they'd rent the other discs in the season, but it also opened the door for rentals on every other season,” Lacey said.
”E1 is also ensuring their product gets a bit more shelf space by including an extra disc.

“I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the other studios following suit on certain titles.”

Todd Zaganiacz with the National Entertainment Buying Group said he hopes more studios will take note, and was particularly impressed with E1’s decision to go with individual sleeves for each DVD.

“Having this product available as a rental-friendly item makes this a no-brainer for rental outlets,” he said. “Retailers have told the studios for years that adding an additional disc one would help get consumers interested in TV product. When a new series set comes out, everyone wants the first disc and with no way to obtain additional discs without having to purchase an entire set, it makes it difficult.”

Retailers seem to agree.

"I for one would pay for an extra copy or two of the first disc of series," said  JoAnn Panayiotou, owner of Trilogy Video in Portland, Ore. "Even if I buy one, two, or even three copies of a series, all I need is to have the first three customers show up on Tuesday morning and rent these and we are dead in the water until they are returned. We all know that we must 'turn' these copies as often as we can so the customer moves to the next disc. Multiple copies of the first disc would really boost the entire series."

Launching from a series of webisodes, “Sanctuary” is a sci-fi adventure created by Damian Kindler (“Stargate SG-1,” “Stargate Atlantis”). The DVDs street Sept. 15 (prebook Aug. 18), before the second season debuts on Sci Fi Channel (which is changing its name to Syfy July 7).

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