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Sesame Street - Press Release: Sesame Workshop Moves Down The Street For New Distro Deal

Posted by David Lambert
2/21/2007
 
GENIUS PRODUCTS AND SESAME WORKSHOP ANNOUNCE
LONG-TERM DISTRIBUTION AND CO-PRODUCTION AGREEMENT


Deal Solidifies Genius Position as a Leader in the Family Entertainment Category

Exclusive North American Home Video Distribution and Certain Digital Rights of Original Sesame Workshop Programs and Catalog

Library Includes over 100 Titles



NEW YORK, NY and SANTA MONICA, CA - February 20, 2007 -- Genius Products, LLC, The Weinstein Company, LLC (TWC) and Sesame Workshop of New York, NY announced today that they have entered into a long-term distribution and co-production agreement. Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization that created Sesame Street, has chosen Genius to be the exclusive North American home entertainment distributor of Sesame Workshop's library of content.

The announcement was made by Harvey Weinstein Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of The Weinstein Company, Gary E. Knell, President & CEO, Sesame Workshop, Genius CEO Trevor Drinkwater, and Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Genius will be the North American home entertainment distributor for Sesame Workshop's library of more than 100 titles. Included are Sesame Street, Sesame Beginnings, and Elmo's World. The agreement also includes Pinky Dinky Doo, which premiered April 2006.

"This agreement with Genius Products provides the opportunity to strengthen our ability to reach millions of kids in America with one of the fastest growing entertainment content distributors," stated Gary E. Knell, CEO, Sesame Workshop. "Genius Products' experienced management team, robust infrastructure and marketing expertise will ensure that we help children reach their highest potential and we believe by working with the multi-talented team at The Weinstein Company on current properties and future productions, we will continue to deliver the leading children's educational and entertaining content in the industry."

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company said, "Sesame Workshop has been a major fixture in homes since it first premiered in 1969 and is one of the most highly regarded and well known brands existing today. We are extremely proud to be partnering with the unbelievably talented team at Sesame Workshop and look forward to collaborating with them both on their current properties and future productions."

Genius Products will maintain home video and certain digital distribution rights for the term of the agreement. The transaction will automatically increase the Genius Products library to over 100 titles and further solidifies their emerging role as leaders in the growing family market.

"This partnership enhances our position as an aggressive leader in the family vertical," said Trevor Drinkwater, CEO of Genius Products. "By adding award winning Sesame Street and Pinky Dinky Doo to our current offering of children's entertainment, including beloved children's characters such as Big Bird Elmo, Zoe and Sesame Street's newest member, Abby Cadabby. We now have one of the world's leading portfolios of contemporary, classic and new children's product."

"We are very excited about this new partnership with Sesame Workshop. It will greatly enhance our position in the family/faith categories and is an overall strong fit for our long-range business goals," said Stephen K. Bannon, Chairman of Genius Products. "We have made tremendous strides in the entertainment industry through the introduction of new brands and content-provider partnerships such as ESPN, Discovery Kids, and RHI Entertainment, across our four leading verticals of Sports, Family/Faith, Lifestyle and Independent Film product segments, and look forward to many additional potential announcements in 2007."


About Genius Products
Genius Products, Inc. (OTCBB: GNPI), along with The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, together owns Genius Products, LLC, a leading independent home-entertainment distribution company that produces, licenses and distributes a valuable library of motion pictures, television programming, family, lifestyle and trend entertainment on DVD and other emerging platforms through its expansive network of retailers throughout the U.S. Genius handles the distribution, marketing and sales for such brands as WWE®, Asia Extreme(TM), Baby Genius®, Dragon Dynasty(TM), Dimension Films, ESPN®, IFC®, NBC News®, Sundance Channel Home Entertainment®, Wellspring(TM), RHI Entertainment and The Weinstein Company®. Genius Products, Inc. is the managing member of Genius Products, LLC, in which it holds a 30% equity interest.


About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in the lives of children around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award-winning programs like Dragon Tales, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat, Pinky Dinky Doo and groundbreaking multimedia productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of its products back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at www.sesameworkshop.org.


Safe Harbor Statement
Except for historical matters contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements reflect assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect Genius Products' business, forecasts, projections and prospects, and cause actual results to differ materially from those in these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the number of anticipated releases, the anticipated effect on our market position, operating margins and stated mission and any other statements relating to such new releases and/or the effect of this transaction on our business that are not historical statements of fact. Actual results could vary for many reasons, including but not limited to, the success of the strategic alliance between The Weinstein Company, Genius Products and Sesame Workshop, including the ability to co-produce titles, our ability to continue to acquire and keep valuable content or expand the distribution partnership, the unpredictability of audience demand, the success of TWC titles at box office and the popularity of our titles on DVD, especially Sesame Workshop, TWC, ESPN, WWE®, RHI Entertainment, and Discovery Kids titles, our ability to perform under the terms of our agreement with our content providers, especially with Sesame Workshop, TWC, WWE®, RHI Entertainment, Discovery Kids and ESPN, our ability to continue to manage our significant growth, the effect of technological change and the availability of alternative forms of entertainment, and our ability to maximize our operating leverage. Other such risks and uncertainties include the matters described in Genius Products, Inc. filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.

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