German j.v. looks to boost DVD/Blu-ray sales

BERLIN — Germany’s Studio Hamburg and ZDF Enterprises have teamed to create a licensing and distribution joint venture.

Studio Hamburg Enterprises, or SHE, aims to purchase rights to films and TV content for distribution in Germany, particularly in the DVD/Blu-ray market, as well as exploit the two companies’ vast libraries and archive material.

ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of pubcaster ZDF, and Studio Hamburg, a 100% subsidiary of regional pubcaster NDR (part of pubcaster ARD’s network) will each have a 50% stake in the new company.

SHE will market approximately 1,500 library titles. In addition, it is handling DVD releases of titles from ARD and ZDF’s current programming lineups.

ZDF Enterprise’s wide-ranging portfolio comprises exclusive new programs from ZDF and a large stock of the company’s own licenses acquired from co-productions, distribution deals and other sources.

Upcoming releases include the six-part TV adaptation of Ferdinand von Schirach’s bestseller “Verbrechen” (Crime), a collection of short stories based on actual criminal cases. The DVD release will coincide with its TV broadcast.

Approximately 120-150 new releases are planned every year.

Jens Uwe Welge, Studio Hamburg’s head of home entertainment, and Peter Lang, who oversees merchandizing and ZDF shops at ZDF Enterprises, will serve as co-managing directors of the joint venture.

SHE is based in Hamburg and has a branch office in Mainz, home to ZDF and ZDF Enterprises.

Commenting on SHE, ZDF Enterprises prexy and CEO Alexander Coridass said, “We will be able to further strengthen our position in the DVD market, which remains important, by bringing together an experienced, high-profile partner and our own very attractive program catalog.”

Peter Thiem, managing director of Studio Hamburg Distribution and Marketing, added, “It enables us to strengthen our joint marketing activities relating to archive programs and to acquire attractive material and licenses at home and abroad.”

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