'Uncensored' videos make big profits
Web posted on: Monday, August 17, 1998 2:52:17 PM
From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Smut sells.
Videos marketed as the stuff that television censors didn't want you to see are generating big profits.
Jerry Springer, whose raucous talk show often features hair-pulling fights between female guests, now has nine videos in release with such titles as "I Refuse to Wear Clothes" and "Bad Boys and Naughty Girls."
"A fight that gets totally out of hand ... or a person that takes off too much clothing. It's adult. To think that this is in a television studio probably makes it more enticing," Springer said, explaining the appeal of "uncensored" videos.
Two years ago, Real Entertainment Inc. jumped into the market with the release of "Cops: Too Hot For TV." In its first year of business, the company generated $34 million in revenues.
'A lot of videos'
"The 'Cops' series has sold well over 2 million units, which for sort of a special interest kind of product is a lot of videos," said Marcy Magiera, editor of Video Business.
The videos are marketed on the Internet, on television and at retail video stores. They apparently appeal to all kinds of people.
"The demographic has truly widened so that it's going from teen-agers ... all the way up to upscale business people at high income levels. Everyone looks at it as a hoot," said Todd Ruhalter, executive vice president of Real Entertainment.
In fact, the videos can offer more profit that the television shows they are often based upon. "The potential to make money on direct sales of video is much higher than it is to do a television show, for instance. The profit margin is much higher," said E.L. Woody, a celebrity photographer.
Woody produced "Hangin' With Leo," an uncensored, unauthorized look at "Titanic" heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio that will hit stores this month. He's able to make the video because celebrities taped in public places are, legally speaking, fair game. "This is outtakes ... your $20 million star on the streets for 30 minutes. You get to see what he's really like, not some scripted publicity-driven piece. It's just Leonardo being Leonardo," Woody said.
Apparently, that is the selling point of these kinds of videos.
"People don't want things edited for them. They want to see the true occurrence, the actual elements as they unfold, and not have somebody censoring it or telling them what they can see or can't see," Ruhalter said.
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