|Industry||Home video distribution|
|Area served||United Kingdom|
|Products||Television and Film on Blu-ray Disc, DVD-Video, video on demand|
Network Distributing (formerly Network/Network DVD) is a video publishing company that specialises in classic British television. The company holds the rights to a number of archive British programmes, predominantly that were originally shown on ITV but it also holds rights for some shows that were shown by the BBC and Channel 4. The company is also developing a catalogue of world cinema titles through its film arm Network Releasing.
Founded in 1997, Network started as a video sell-through label specialising in archive television programmes. Its first releases were Charley Says, Robin of Sherwood and Catweazle. It has gone on to become one of the most successful independent DVD distributors in the UK with a library of 3,000 unique film and TV properties. The company has also moved into releasing new feature films at cinemas. It won two HEW Awards in 2008 for Best TV DVD release for The Prisoner 40th Anniversary Special Edition and Best Comedy DVD for The Goodies at LWT. The latter award was shared with The Mighty Boosh Series 3.
The company has built up a reputation for including extensive special-features on many of their titles, which can be seen in the likes of Space: 1999, The Goodies at LWT, The Saint and On The Buses. In 2004 Network signed an output deal with Granada Ventures, giving the company the rights to release all non-core ITV brands on DVD in the UK (incorporating the Granada, Carlton, ITC Entertainment, Central, HTV and Anglia libraries). At the same time, Network sourced its sales function to Fremantle Media. In return Network acquired the DVD rights to the Fremantle library (including the Thames Television library). This means that the majority of the ITV shows such as Coronation Street, The Bill, The Persuaders! and The Saint are released via Network DVD rather than ITV's commercial division. The American-made series Baywatch is also part of the Fremantle library and Network DVD holds UK DVD rights to the series.
In addition to Network’s strong TV catalogue, the company also has an extensive film library which includes properties from Alliance Atlantis, Rank Organisation, Raymond Rohauer and ITC Entertainment catalogues. Notable films include Sign o’ the Times, Oliver Stone's Talk Radio, Black Narcissus, The Last Seduction and This Sporting Life.
In 2007, the company moved into new releases following a re-release of The Ipcress File at UK cinemas nationwide in 2006 and the company acquired Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Flight of the Red Balloon starring Juliette Binoche, which it released at cinemas and on DVD in 2007. In 2008 it acquired four new films from the Cannes Film Festival: Afterschool, Rumba, Soi Cowboy and Tony Manero, which were all released in the UK in 2009. It established its world cinema website networkreleasing.com the same year and all of its new film titles are now released under the Network Releasing banner. In July 2010 it released Lymelife, a coming-of-age feature exec-produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Alec Baldwin, Rory and Kieran Culkin, Cynthia Nixon and Emma Roberts. In 2011, it also release the Asian slasher movie Dream Home.
Network's release schedule and catalogue availability was seriously affected by the Sony warehouse fire in Enfield, North London during the August 2011 English riots.