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MTV’s family groove

Cabler brings video deal under Viacom roof

As MTV celebrates its 20th anniversary, the network is cutting its ties with longtime partner Sony Music Video to join sister video company Paramount Home Entertainment.

Paramount and the MTV Networks, including Nickelodeon, are owned by Viacom, which also is the parent company of Blockbuster vidstore giant.

The multiyear deal calls for Paramount to immediately begin distributing television programming such as “The Real World,” “Inside Fear” and “Daria” from MTV Home Video in the U.S. and Canada. The studio has handled MTVHE product overseas since 1996. MTV’s domestic distribution deal with Sony expired earlier this year.

Paramount already distributes Nickelodeon TV series like “The Rugrats,” which the studio picked up several years ago from Sony Music Video.

“It makes perfect sense from both a business and relationship standpoint to extend our partnership to the U.S. and Canada,” MTV senior VP of program enterprises Donald Silvey said.

Paramount said the studio will work closely with MTVHE in developing and launching new home entertainment product and in creating marketing opportunities across the various Viacom companies.

Among the first MTV releases distributed through PHE will be “The Real World You Never Saw: Back to New York” on Dec. 4.

“Inside Fear,” a behind-the-scenes look at the MTV gameshow “Fear,” will debut Nov. 6.

“Daria the Movie: Is It Fall Yet?” will be a feature-length movie version of the animated TV series that will debut early next year.

Videos will be priced at $14.95 on VHS and $19.99 on DVD in the U.S.

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