Sony Joins Paramount, Universal Home Entertainment Partnership in Spain

Zoolander 2 Cyrus Arnold - H 2016
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The three studios look to pool resources in the challenging DVD and Blu-ray market in the piracy-stricken country.

Sony, Paramount and Universal will join forces in Spain to launch the first three-way home entertainment venture for physical formats under the umbrella of the newly formed Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Espana

The new division pools the resources of the three majors to handle movies, series and documentaries and looks to buck the trend in Spain of abysmal numbers on the home entertainment front that saw some of the majors stop distributing DVDs five years ago. The deal, which includes DVD and Blu-ray, amplifies what was until now a joint venture between Universal and Paramount to distribute home entertainment.

Sony discontinued its home entertainment division in 2013 and forged a pact with Fox, which handled DVD and Blu-ray distribution for Sony. That agreement ends in June.

Zoolander 2, Angry Birds, Penny Dreadful and Hail, Caesar!  are among the first titles under the agreement.

In addition to all of the titles from Sony, Universal and Paramount, the new division will distribute content from other brands for which the studios have distribution, such as CBS, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Vertigo, Momentum and Sony Pictures Digital.

Sergio Arranz, the former head of Paramount Home Entertainment, will act as general manager of the 15-person team for the new division, comprised primarily of new hires. 

“Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Espana begins its journey at the ideal time and the right circumstances, with a multi-disciplinary and fresh team ready to off movie lovers creativity and innovation at home," said Arranz, general manager of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Espana

In addition to a worldwide trend of decreasing home entertainment sales, Spain suffers from rampant piracy — which sees an estimated 80 percent of digital media consumption obtained illegally. The U.S. ambassador to Spain, James Costos, has worked with Spanish authorities to improve awareness of the problem.

Online streaming is very popular in Spain, with Netflix launching its service in October and HBO announcing plans for a streaming service earlier this year.