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|Industry||Home video distribution|
|Products||Television and Film on Blu-ray Disc, DVD-Video, video on demand|
Number of employees
Network Distributing (formerly Network/Network DVD) is a video publishing company that specialises in classic British television programmes. The company holds the rights to a number of archive British programmes, predominantly from ITV, though it also holds rights for some programmes shown by the BBC and Channel 4. The company is also developing a catalogue of world cinema titles through its film arm Network Releasing.
Network was founded in 1997 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 built up a reputation for including extensive special features on many of its DVD box sets. It has also moved into releasing new feature films in cinemas.
Network 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.
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, LWT, Yorkshire, Anglia and Tyne Tees libraries). At the same time Network sourced its sales function to Fremantle Media. In return Network acquired the DVD rights to the Fremantle library, which includes the Thames Television library. This means that the majority of ITV shows 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 2005 and 2006 Network released three decade box sets of the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street. The 60s, 70s and 80s sets each included 10 DVDs, with 8 memorable episodes per disc. In 2011, the sets were re-released in slimmer packaging, with the 90s and 2000s collections being released for the first time.
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. 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 executive-produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Alec Baldwin, Rory and Kieran Culkin, Cynthia Nixon and Emma Roberts. In 2011, it released the Asian slasher movie Dream Home.
Network's release schedule and catalogue availability were temporarily affected by the Sony warehouse fire in Enfield, North London, during the riots in England in 2011.