UFC, EliteXC Moving Up In DVD Market

June 30, 2008

Video Business has a synopsis on the increasing market for MMA-centric DVD’s. This market has been a solid area for DVD distributors and retailers for quite a while but some in the industry are looking for sales to increase with the recent network exposure of mixed martial arts:

Though DVD sales of 10,000 to 25,000 units are typical for MMA releases, primetime pushes might portend a more robust forecast for the gut-busting genre.

“Whenever you move a show from cable to the main networks, it obviously expands your exposure to mainstream audiences,” says Nick Lamer, marketing VP at Image Entertainment. “I don’t recall seeing a sport grow at such a rate as MMA. It’s poised to outdo pro wrestling,” Lamer says.

Out performing wrestling on DVD may be a bit of hyperbole, but there is definitely room for growth. Much like in the TV market, the two main players in the DVD market are UFC and EliteXC. The UFC has a much longer track record in the DVD market and this experience and brand longevity is something they tout to retailers when competing for shelf space.

What’s proven is the longevity of the UFC brand at retail stores,” says Don Gold, executive VP of entertainment for UFC, whose DVDs are mainly distributed by First Look Studios. “Retailers trust the brand, and they order accordingly. We’ve put out more than 50 DVDs since the company was formed in 1993 and have sold millions of units in North America alone. Our DVDs include bonus footage and fights not seen on our pay-per-view shows.”

EliteXC looks to challenge the UFC’s authority in this area. The company recently had a Top 10 Sports DVD hit with their EliteXC: Renegade DVD. EliteXC looks to build on that in November, when Image Entertainment will release the three-hour EliteXC Saturday Night Fights, broadcast on CBS 5/31, as a two-disc set, including fighter bios and behind-the-scenes action.

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