Fox and Sony Pictures join forces to drive DVD sales in Brazil

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 18-10-2011

Two of Hollywood's six major film studios, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures, are forming a commercial alliance designed to boost the distribution of DVD and Blu-Ray discs in Brazil.
The agreement involves the home entertainment divisions of both companies, which will be formally merging early next year. A new company will then emerge, to be named Fox-Sony Pictures Home Entertainment do Brasil (FSPHEB).
The joint venture will be in charge of handling all marketing, sales and distribution operations for the combined Brazilian DVD and Blu-ray output from the two studios, according to industry bible Variety.
The decision to put their rivalry to one side and focus on the synergies between the two home entertainment divisions was largely based on the sheer territorial size of the South American nation, which poses significant logistics challenges for companies looking to establish a national goods distribution network.
Heading FSPHEB will be the until-recently vice-president and managing director of Paramount Home Entertainment Brazil, Jefferson Pugsley.
Until not long ago, Hollywood used to regard the Brazilian DVD market as one characterised by consumers more interested in renting – not so much in buying – films. However, as the country's booming economy continues to produce a rapidly expanding middle class, the studios have begun to spot a trend whereby film lovers are now devoting to physical ownership of content.
To a large extent, such phenomenon has been driven by the strong growth that sales of LCD, plasma and LED TVs have enjoyed in Brazil over the past few years.
Looking to the near and medium-term future, there is a wide expectation that the fact that Brazil will be hosting two of the next three mega-sporting events (the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics) will only accelerate the demand for new TV screens. This, in turn, should increase demand for high-quality video content.
So it comes as no surprise that Hollywood is starting to revamp its commercial strategy in the region's largest market.
What shouldn't come as a surprise, either, would be if these same home entertainment divisions begin to notice – sooner rather than later – a significant drop in the consumption of physical media as over-the-top (OTT) service providers continue to exploit the connectivity features of a growing installed base of smart screens.
For the time being, The Adventures of Tin Tin will become one of the first titles distributed by the new Fox/Sony Pictures Brazilian joint venture, which will support both HD and 3D formats among the discs it offers.