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Home Shows As the World Turns As the World Turns News SoapClassics Mark Yates and the As the World Turns DVD collection

SoapClassics Mark Yates and the As the World Turns DVD collection


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SoapClassics Mark Yates and the As the World Turns DVD collection
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Mark Yates, President, SoapClassicsA native New Yorker who calls Chelsea home, Mark Yates is no stranger to marketing and distributing television offerings. One of the masterminds behind the As the World Turns DVD collection now available at soapclassics.com, he started with Showtime, and then to Broadway Video in 1994.  In 2007, he split BVDM off from Broadway video, and then became president of BVDM (Broadway Video Digital Media).  SoapClassics is a division of BVDM, and as its president, Yates brings that wealth of distribution experience to marketing one of Procter & Gamble’s most beloved soap operas – As the World Turns.  

Soapdom’s first big question to Yates?

How did SoapClassics come about?

“We had been working with P&G Telenext in preserving and restoring the content of the reels for the classics soaps collection,” Yates revealed. “When the soaps were cancelled, we saw an opportunity to partner with them to both preserve the content and to become the international distributor.”

Yates went on to say that P&G soaps had been airing in certain international markets since the 1980s.  “Germany, Italy, the UK.  They are still airing in Germany, Iceland, and UK.  And we are actively negotiating new deals throughout the world. Broadcasters are interested in the material going back to 1980,” he said. SoapClassics is also in negotiations for foreign language DVD releases in several countries.  

“There is interest. It’s been fascinating,” Yates said. “I always knew there was a market, but I didn’t anticipate it to be this robust.”

Nothing that any die hard As the World Turns fan didn’t already know.  At Soapdom.com we had ATWT fans from The Netherlands, and quite a few at that.

BDVM estimates there are 30 or 40 million fans worldwide that are interested in this content.  “We also believe that under the right conditions and the right media, new younger viewers (will be attracted to the material). Soap operas are what we consider to be the original reality TV.”

Take that Snookie and all you real housewives.

So why did SoapClassics lean toward the Procter & Gamble soap operas to begin with?
 
“The physical materials were deteriorating,” Yates shared. There is only so much shelf life for video tape.  “(Our methods) preserve and digitize the material so it will be available for future generations. It’s what made the deal really compelling for P&G and for us, making sure their asset was preserved, and we were able to become the distributor.”  Yates went on to state with a fair amount of pride, “For me personally, I know I was responsible for reserving a huge part of American culture.”

It's clear that Yates is all business in regard to distributing the Procter & Gamble catalog, but when it comes to As the World Turns, that particular soap holds some fond memories for him.  It's these family moments that made him choose As the World Turns episodes for the first release.

“It was the soap I watched with my grandmother,” Yates revealed.  “Which only serves to demonstrate the emotional attachment everyone has to whatever show for whatever reason.”


The first collection of As the World Turns DVDs is divided into four themes: great weddings, secrets and scandals, Oakdale through the years, and villains and vixens. There is a DVD for each theme, containing five representative episodes each.  If sales go as expected, additional collections covering additional themes are planned. But what to choose next?

“One of our huge fan responses was how great the 80s were,” noted Yates. “Expect to see an 80s collection.  Also, a collection of the holidays shows.”  

“We are really going to open up a lot of dialog with the fans and ask them what they want to see. I’ve got 2100 hours of programming.  Logistically and economically, they don’t want necessarily every show back-to-back, season-to-season, end-to-end, but they want to see certain moments, certain characters.”

As the World Turns DVD collectionAs fans of As the World Turns, do you agree with Yates on this?  Or do you want every episode of every year made available to you?  Just asking…  

Regardless, if this first As the World Turns DVD collection sells well, not only will more As the World Turns material become available, but other Procter & Gamble soaps will, too.

“If this is successful, there are a number of possibilities,” Yates said.  “Two new releases in 2012. Guiding Light, and then the As the World Turns 80s collection.”

But DVDs is not the only form of distribution SoapClassics is considering.  “We are also looking to launch an online service, where we would put a significant portion of the entire archive available to stream online.”  That means episodes from September 1979 thru end of the series. “They did not record prior to that,” explained Yates. “There are some episodes prior to that at the Paley Center.  There are some kinescopes, too and we are working out the rights and ownership issues.”

The overall plan is to get this first compilation out for Christmas to test the market. “As of an hour ago, the fans are going overboard for their support for it.,” enthused Yates.

If all the DVD sales are successful, would SoapClassics consider a return to broadcast of the shows, i.e., producing new episodes?

“As personally exiting as that sounds, we would not. It’s not our forte,” explained Yates. “What we do as a business is distribute libraries that content owners are not in a position to distribute themselves. We would love it if someone else did (produce new episodes of the shows). We would love to partner with someone who would.  We have no plans to produce new content, and don’t know of anyone who would.”

Prospect Park, take note.  Keep your eye on the success of SoapClassics for possible new original programming for TOLN down the line. But I digress…

Overall, Yates couldn’t be happier with the early buzz.  “We are really pleased with the positive feedback we are getting. We are looking for opportunities to get fan input for future releases.  I hope they -- the fans -- understand how difficult it is to actually pull this off. It actually takes hundreds of hours of work to locate, restore and prepare the content for the DVDs and we are thankful for their support of the products.”

So fans. It is kind of up to you. Want more As the World Turns on DVD? What to see the whole archive streaming on line?  Want to see Guiding Light, Another World and other Procter & Gamble soaps available in DVD and steaming video?  Visit SoapClassics and purchase your first collection now.

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Comments (11)add comment

Gloria Lisowski said:

Gloria Lisowski
Mark Yates
This was a great article posted by QueenRuler! It is very interesting and I would recommend everyone to read this!!!
 
October 22, 2011
Votes: +1

FUNNEEBONZ said:

FUNNEEBONZ
Gloria -- you are so right
I also enjoyed this article. Linda always gets right to the heart of the matter. Gotta love our QueenRuler.

Gloria, what other collections would you like to see? I am very excited about a possible holiday collection. I would also love to see one on the great love stories.
How about you?
 
October 22, 2011
Votes: +1

Gloria Lisowski said:

Gloria Lisowski
Yes
Funneebonz,

I agree with you on both of your selections! Love stories would be great! They are also talking about a possible '80s collection. That is would be very
interested in!!! Or for that matter , I would be interested in about almost
everything!!
 
October 22, 2011
Votes: +1

Lola said:

Lola
you bring up some good ideas
to be honest, i didn't watch atwt much
was mostly an abc soap fan and sometimes
days of our lives
but all this talk of atwt and these dvds
has my curiosity up
i think it would be fun to see old episodes with
stars like meg ryan (who i read is in one of the wedding
dvds).
seeing big stars -- the early years -- would be very fun
 
October 22, 2011
Votes: +1

QueenRuler said:

QueenRuler
Great minds think alike!
Lola, when interviewing Mr. Yates, I actually mentioned a collection of the stars before they were stars. Let's see if we get that one.

Gloria and Funnee, thanks for the kind words about the article. Mr. Yates was fun to interview. He really loves his work, his business, and the fact that he was instrumental in bringing As the World Turns out on DVD.

Yay for Mark Yates!
 
October 22, 2011
Votes: +2

Angie ATWT said:

Angie ATWT
Thank you
As far as I am concerned this is a dream come true. I watched ATWT for 50 years. My mother would recount the daily happenings with Lisa while I was in school. Later, especially during the 80s I was hooked. Since July 2010, I have spent my time trying to honour ATWT as best as possible. I had almost given up hope for the future, when Thursday, October 14, 2011 it was announced that P&G had not only released the rights for international distribution, but was now allowing Mark Yates (my new hero) to produce awesome DVDs . I am in awe and I say a BIG THANK YOU. If I could reach through this computer screen, this old granny would give you a huge HUG.
 
October 22, 2011
Votes: +1

QueenRuler said:

QueenRuler
This is a dream come true!
Hi Angie ATWT. Thanks for your comments. I am so happy for ATWT fans everywhere. I can't wait to get my DVD set. Have you gotten yours? What is your favorite episode from the collection?
 
October 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Angie ATWT said:

Angie ATWT
The DVD Collection
No, I haven't recieved mine yet. I live in Canada and even though I ordered it the first night, I am still waiting. I am looking forward to spending time with my 'reel' Oakdale family again.
 
October 23, 2011
Votes: +0

QueenRuler said:

QueenRuler
LOL
Your ATWT's "reel family." LOL Love that. I am sure your set is on its way. When you get it, please share either here or on the soapdom message boards or your soapdom profile news feed, which is your favorite "reel," and episode. I have a feeling that mine will either be the weddings or Oakdale through the years. Oh wait, villains and vixens sounds fun too. Oh no. So much to choose from. LOL

One thing is certain. I am having so much fun revisiting As the World Turns again. This is so very cool. smilies/shocked.gif)
 
October 23, 2011
Votes: +1

Gloria Lisowski said:

Gloria Lisowski
DVD's
Hellp everyone,

Someone please tell me when you ger yours and how long it took! Thanks!
I am looking forward to all of them but, from what everyone is saying, I am going to watch the wedding one frst!! I THINK????i
 
October 23, 2011
Votes: +1

Gloria Lisowski said:

Gloria Lisowski
DVD's
HI Everyone,

I ordered my ATWT dvd set last Wednesday. Today I received an E-Mail.from them. They said that my order has been shipped already!!!! Yay! Hope to get it by the end of the week.
 
October 24, 2011
Votes: +1

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