WASHINGTON/CANNES (March 29, 2004)—National Geographic International Home Video has signed deals with Mediart and Hed Arzi Ltd. to distribute home video titles in South Korea and Israel, it was announced today by Julie Bellonte, vice president, International Home Video and DVD, for National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F).
“Both Mediart and Hed Arzi have proved to be strong distribution partners for National Geographic over the past several years,” said Bellonte. “We’re excited to continue our relationship with both companies and look forward to mining additional opportunities in the retail and direct marketing sectors.”
A partner since 1996, Mediart has signed a multiyear agreement to distribute 36 new titles in VHS and DVD formats in South Korea. The titles supplement Mediart’s existing library of previously released National Geographic films, ranging from traditional documentaries to 29 children’s titles. All titles will be available at retail and through telemarketing and door-to-door sales.
“We’re proud to expand our partnership with National Geographic and to continue to build its brand presence within South Korea,” said Joonmok Jung, vice president of Mediart and president of Mediart Visions. “By substantially increasing our offerings to customers, we hope to expand the depth and breadth of our library and appeal to viewers of all ages.”
Hed Arzi’s Israel agreement will allow for distribution of 18 new titles in VHS, DVD and VCD formats. The new titles supplement Hed Arzi’s existing inventory of 80 previously released documentary and children’s titles, and will be made available to consumers through Hed Arzi’s network of retail and direct partners throughout Israel.
“We are delighted at the prospect of continuing our long association with the National Geographic Society — and more especially with National Geographic Television & Film,” says Roni Kleinfeld, chief executive officer for Hed Arzi Ltd. “Over the years, the ‘Yellow Border Series’ has been established as the market leader in the field of nature films and is a prime example of the old adage ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ The ‘Really Wild Animals’ series continues to set the international standard for video programming for children.”
In 2003, National Geographic International Home Video & DVD launched in Turkey with distributor A.E. Ltd. and renewed distribution agreements with DD Video in the United Kingdom and Rainbow Products in Australia and New Zealand. The partnerships with Mediart and Hed Arzi bring National Geographic International Home Video and DVD’s international distribution network to 66 countries and 24 languages.
Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, NGT&F augments its award-winning documentary productions (122 Emmy Awards and more than 800 other industry awards) with feature films, large-format films, and long-form television drama programming. Worldwide, National Geographic’s television programming can be seen on the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC and PBS, home video and DVD, and through international broadcast syndication. The National Geographic Channel is received by more than 200 million households in 25 languages in 146 countries, including the United States. For more information about NGT&F, log on to nationalgeographic.com.
About Mediart Group
Established in 1984, Mediart Group is a producer and distributor of public and cable broadcast programming and commercial films. For the past 15 years, Mediart has partnered with National Geographic for the distribution of its award-winning documentaries in the home video market, and has successfully launched National Geographic videos as an evergreen brand for the consumer.
In 2001 Mediart expanded its business into the publishing and merchandising arena and currently oversees five subsidiary units across a wide spectrum of industries.
About Hed Arzi Ltd.
In 2003 Hed Arzi Ltd. was sold by Ma’ariv Holdings Ltd to M. E. Roichman Communications Ltd, with Hanani Roichman becoming managing director and Roni Kleinfeld continuing as CEO.
Hed Arzi Ltd. is the owner of the Tower Records franchise in Israel and operates 32 stores — the leading retail outlet for leisure products in Israel.
In addition to representing the NGT&F and BBC catalogues, Hed Arzi’s video/DVD department is a major player in the areas of local audio visual productions and feature film distribution to retail and rental outlets.