Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has picked up exclusive video distribution rights for all programs within Discovery Communications’ wide web of TV networks.
Content will hail from TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, the Science Channel and Discovery’s multiplex of digital channels.
Inaugural Discovery-branded CTHE homevideo titles should hit stores in the fourth quarter.
Details about which Discovery shows will first get the DVD treatment are still being discussed. Potential releases include such current hit series as “Animal Planet’s The Crocodile Hunter” and TLC’s “Trading Spaces.”
CTHE likely will release one new Discovery title per month at competitive pricing, said Marshall Forster, CTHE exec veep North America.
Other channels under the deal, which takes effect Aug. 16, include Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home Channel and Discovery en Espanol.
A number of other suppliers, including Artisan (now under Lions Gate Entertainment), previously had video rights to the Discovery catalog. But, impressed by CTHE’s history with documentaries, Discovery decided to align with the studio exclusively for its own fact-based programming.
Last year’s docu “Winged Migration” was a strong theatrical and DVD performer for Sony Classics and CTHE, respectively. The film drew $10.8 million in domestic box office.
CTHE’s deal with Discovery offers additional long-term benefit as well, as parent company Sony is pushing for the introduction of high-def DVDs — in particular its proposed format for the next-generation DVD, dubbed Blu-ray. Discovery has been a pioneer of high-def programming.
(Susanne Ault is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication DVD Exclusive.)