Silver Vision. A name familiar to every reader of WWEDVDNews. They are the official licensee for WWE DVDs in the UK and Europe.
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Steve, one of the top dogs over at Silvervision.co.uk, and the man behind the company’s social media presence, including hosting a new YouTube show.
So here it is, in full. Steve has also shared some photos from times he’s had the opportunity to meet with various WWE Superstars via Silver Vision!
WWEDVDNews: As we understand it you’ve been the licensee for WWE videos in the UK for nearly 25 years. What do you feel has been Silver Vision’s main strength over the years which has contributed to keeping that relationship with WWE intact for so long?
Silvervision.co.uk: In 2014 we’ll have been working with WWE for 25 years, so we’re almost there. First and foremost Silver Vision was founded by someone who had a passion for WWE, and still does to this day. We love the product and can therefore put extensive knowledge and enthusiasm into every part of the process.
WWEDVDNews: It certainly shows. What do you feel are the main differences between the Home Video business back then compared to the present day?
Silvervision.co.uk: Back then there were videos! There’s a lot more WWE available on television these days, whereas back when we started our videos were the only way a lot of people could keep up with the goings on in WWE.
WWEDVDNews: In 2002 when the ruling came into effect that WWE could no longer sell the back catalog of WWF branded DVDs and videos, how did this affect Silver Vision? Essentially it must have wiped out your whole product range, so how did you bounce back from the position it must have placed you in?
Silvervision.co.uk: We had a sell off period where we were selling off all the videos at knock down prices and it’s not an exaggeration to say that every single person in the company was working in the warehouse at one point or another during that time, sometimes all together. The demand was like nothing we’d seen before. When the dust had settled we had a catalogue of 6 titles, but thankfully WWE has always pumped out regular releases so we built our range up again slowly but surely. It was during this time that all the Silver Vision customers showed incredible support and were very understanding of our predicament. That’s part of what makes this company so great be a part of, the amazing WWE fans.
WWEDVDNews: In our eyes what makes Silver Vision unique (besides having the best prices and fastest releases in the UK) is your use of social media through Twitter and Facebook to interact with your customers and listen to feedback. How important do you feel social media is to Silver Vision in 2012 and does the feedback on there reflect decisions you make?
Silvervision.co.uk: In 2012 social media is as important a communication tool as there is, maybe the most important. There is the marketing side of things where we can tell people about promotions and products, but it’s also nice to get to know our customers on a more personal level, and you’ll often see us all having discussions about WWE past and present. We do indeed take the feedback on board and we encourage it. We even had a Wild Wednesday offer which was chosen by the people on our Facebook page.
WWEDVDNews: So, can we get your thoughts on the DVD vs. Blu-ray argument? Do you envision that WWE Blu-ray’s will completely replace their DVD counterparts in the coming years or do you feel the two formats will continue to be released simultaneously until something different comes along?
Silvervision.co.uk: DVD is still where the biggest part of our business comes from, though Blu-ray has been gaining ground quite a bit in the last 12 months. On Silvervision.co.uk there have been some titles which have sold more Blu-rays than DVDs, such as The True Story of WrestleMania. I don’t think we’ll see another physical product enter the market, so for the foreseeable future it’ll be DVD and Blu-ray.
WWEDVDNews: Staying on the topic of Blu-ray, we see Silver Vision are releasing many WWE PPV events on the format exclusively to the UK and Europe. Great job! Is the reason for this simply because Blu-ray disc is generally proving more popular in your region? Can we expect every 2012 PPV on the format?
Silvervision.co.uk: The demand is certainly there for us to produce a Blu-ray and if it continues then so will the Blu-ray releases. Why WWE haven’t done all PPVs on Blu-ray is a question for them I’m afraid.
WWEDVDNews: We’ve also noticed the gap between a WWE DVD release in the US and your release to the UK seems to be getting shorter in some cases. How important is it to you to get the DVD out quickly?
Silvervision.co.uk: It’s of the utmost importance as the world of WWE moves very quickly so we have to capitalise on any exposure that WWE give the releases. As we are the licensee for not just the UK but also Europe as well, we have to get certification, dubbing and subtitles for several territories for our releases. This is helped immensely by having our own in house authoring facility which is one of the main factors in getting the releases out in a timely fashion.
WWEDVDNews: WWE is on a roll with their DVD and Blu-ray projects as of late, what with Shawn VS. Bret, Stone Cold “The Bottom Line”, Epic Journey of The Rock and various other great titles. We love a good documentary. What has been your personal favourite WWE DVD put out recently?
Silvervision.co.uk: I thought the You Think You Know Me? Story of Edge release was superb with a very revealing documentary, but I won’t say too much as that isn’t in stock yet! The Best of Raw and SmackDown are always favourites of mine – with a young family I don’t always get time to watch all of the WWE programming so it’s great to be able to catch up on all the greatest moments and matches. I’m also very excited to see the Clash of the Champions release as these were never televised in the UK – you would just hear them referenced in a subsequent WCW TV episode when a championship had changed hands since you’d last watched!
WWEDVDNews: So are employees of Silver Vision still WWE fans too? How many of you have DVD collections?
Silvervision.co.uk: Not everyone is a fan when they start with the company, but there are very few that don’t become fans after going to a live WWE show for the first time. I guess that’s the initiation in Silver Vision, and for a fan like myself it’s one that I gladly participated in, over and over again. With all the DVDs so readily available in our the offices not many end up collecting them at home. Though that hasn’t stopped me, and I am still a collector to this day. In fact my WrestleMania XX Deluxe Collector’s Edition is still sealed inside the cardboard outer box. When we sold off all the WWE videos as I was describing earlier, it wasn’t an uncommon site to see me hand over large portions of my wages and then fill my car with WWE videos!
WWEDVDNews: Since you are an official licensee, regularly collaborating with WWE, there must be some perks to the job. Perhaps an all expenses paid trip to WrestleMania for instance?
Silvervision.co.uk: You’ll hate me for saying this, but I had the opportunity to go to WrestleMania XIX with the company but my fear of flying stopped me. I’ve been kicking myself ever since! I have been to almost every WWE TV taping in the last 10 years and lots of house shows and UK PPVs as well. I’ve also had the opportunity to interview many of the WWE Superstars, who without exception have all been very accommodating and a pleasure to deal with. One particular interview stands out and that was with Randy Orton, whose wife had just had a baby girl, and my wife had just had a baby boy. After the wrestling chat was done with we sat talking about labour and nappy changes, not something I was anticipating when I entered the TV studio that day.
WWEDVDNews: Did you ever make a suggestion for a new DVD to WWE themselves, which came true? What input do you generally have?
Silvervision.co.uk: We’ve been very lucky in that WWE have an amazing track record for releasing great title after great title, so we’ve not needed to request a great deal in that department. We did mention that you fans had been asking for WCW footage, so maybe that helped push through titles like The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro and the upcoming Best of WCW Clash of the Champions.
WWEDVDNews: Were you surprised to see a site likes ours created, specifically about updates on this DVD subject. It’s amazing to us there are so many avid collectors, all passionate about the topic. What do you think of WWEDVDNews.com?
Silvervision.co.uk: I was surprised it took you so long Daniel! But seriously, I don’t know any other programming that makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray that has such an ardent following as WWE. The amount of time WWE fans spend studying packaging and match listings is remarkable, but very impressive at the same time, and part of the reason we are all employed at Silver Vision today. WWEDVDNews.com is a wonderful resource which I personally check on an almost daily basis. It gives us an invaluable insight into the minds of our customers and the products we create.
WWEDVDNews: How are things going after the Sony warehouse fire in the London riots last August? We heard over 1 million of your DVD’s were destroyed, including all of your units of “Breaking The Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho” which is a travesty in of itself!
Silvervision.co.uk: Our losses pale into insignificance compared to the personal losses that many people suffered last August, but the fire at Sony DADC certainly sent us reeling. It wasn’t as easy as just producing some more DVDs though as the warehouse contained product for many companies, so all a sudden the DVD manufacturing companies were overwhelmed too. We ended up having to recall product from countries around Europe so that we could satisfy the demand within the UK. There are unfortunately some titles that had a modest number of units of, where the demand is just not there to replicate them again, so they are now gone forever. We are getting back on track now, but like many others in our industry, the events of last August will have lasting effects for years to come.
WWEDVDNews: Jim Ross recently blogged about a second Greatest Rivalries DVD being planned. What rivalry would you most like to see be a part of the series, and have you heard rumblings of what it might actually be?
Silvervision.co.uk: Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin seems like the natural successor to Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart, especially with Rock being back in WWE. They had many a battle over the years and were both vying for the top dog spot in WWE, so it would be fascinating to hear what they have to say about the rivalry. I think Mr McMahon vs. Steve Austin would be great too – their rivalry spearheaded a surge in popularity for WWE and changed the business forever. I also wonder how many people would like to see a set dedicated to the feud between Zeus and Hulk Hogan, or am I alone in wanting to see that?
WWEDVDNews: We hear from Mick Foley that an Attitude Era themed DVD is in the works. Do you foresee this perhaps being your best selling WWE DVD of all time? Any concerns about releasing such a DVD in this new “PG” environment of wrestling?
Silvervision.co.uk: Any DVD would have to perform wonders to outdo the yearly WrestleMania releases, but maybe. The current environment that we see on TV doesn’t seem to be compromising any of the releases; you only have to look at The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time to see that.
WWEDVDNews: One last question, do you have a release date set for your WrestleMania 28 DVD and Blu-ray? This one is shaping up to be something special.
Silvervision.co.uk: At the moment it’s looking like a mid June release, but as always we’ll do our very best to get it in stock as early as possible. You can already pre-order it.
WWEDVDNews: A big thank you for taking time out to chat with us today, and we really appreciate it! Fans in the UK and Europe check out Silvervision.co.uk for the latest WWE DVD and Blu-rays. Over 100 titles are on sale right now! Plus, save 10% when buying any three!
Steve hosts the new “Silver Vision TV” YouTube show. Below, watch the first episode which debuted this week, and includes a WWE Blu-ray giveaway!