Sony Wonder to issue Nick fare on vid/audio

Sony Wonder has inked its first video deal to launch 10 homevid and two audio titles from children’s cable network Nickelodeon, according to Ted Green, Sony Music Group VP.

The deal marks a first for the year-old subsid — Sony Music’s family entertainment division — and will be the first major campaign for Nickelodeon, a trademark of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Intl. Inc.

Sony Wonder will release an initial nine homevideos and one audio title from the Nickelodeon Collection on Aug. 31. Two Christmas titles will be released in October.

First titles out will include episodes from Nickelodeon series “Ren & Stimpy, “”Rugrats,””Doug” and the “SNICK” programming block. Prices range from $ 9.98 to $ 14.98, and all tapes will include original “Nick-style” short features and vignettes.

The deal is “in conjunction with Sony Music Group, and I think this particular Nickelodeon deal shows the aggressive stance we’re taking toward the family entertainment market and the children’s video market in particular,” Green said. Previously, the subsid had only released audio titles.

“Our feeling is that it’s the right time to go into this market, and with a top-line partner like Nickelodeon, it’s a natural effort for us,” Green continued. “It is an underserviced area, and there is a demand for audio and video product — and for Nickelodeon product in particular … because the market hasn’t already been saturated with Nickelodeon product in the past.”

Sony Wonder plans to “saturate” the market with a “multimillion-dollar” advertising and marketing campaign that will include TV spots, print ads and out-of-home promotional efforts, as well as Nickelodeon’s on-air Stocking Stuffer Sweepstakes.

Various “Colossal Pack” promotional kits that range from 18-piece to 60-piece packages will be available to retailers.

A separate “Holiday Pack” will be available for the “Ren & Stimpy Holiday Tape: Have Yourself a Stinky Little Christmas.”

Confirmation of marketing plans had to be firmed up prior to Sony Wonder’s announcement Tuesday. “It’s not just taking something off the air and slapping it on homevid,” Green said.

He stressed that the collection will be readily available nationwide. “Sony’s dominance in distribution will assure that the Nickelodeon Collection will be in every store, and the promotional and marketing plans assembled by Sony and Nickelodeon will ensure that the consumer knows the product has arrived.”

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