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Wasserman dialing 411 for sports

Studio plans to release 15 DVDs this year

HOLLYWOOD — Casey Wasserman is extending his Wasserman Media Group to include production and retail distribution of action sports DVDs.

WMG, headed by the grandson of legendary studio chief Lew Wasserman, has launched Studio 411, a full-scale production studio and distribution and marketing division that plans to release 15 DVDs this year. Subjects will include skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding and motocross.

New company grew out of WMG’s acquisition last year of 411 Prods., the leading producer-distributor of action sports DVDs.

Wasserman, 30, said he intends to increase both production and distribution of action sports DVDs and eventually exploit rights opportunities for his programming as new distribution technologies emerge. He also noted that some action sports movies, like “Step Into Liquid,” enjoy a theatrical release.

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“The demo for action sports programming is a high user of new technology,” he said.

For now, the market is microscopic compared to that for theatrical films and TV series on DVD. A successful action sports title will sell in the tens of thousands of copies and maybe reach more than 100,000.

Wasserman believes DVD could become the biggest and most profitable part of his WMG, which also includes management company DC Music and action sports athlete management group the Familie.

WMG may leverage its music business for DVDs, and Wasserman would even consider helping the Los Angeles Arena Football League team, which he owns, produce DVDs.