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NASCAR embraces DVD on demand

NASCAR has teamed up with DVD-on-demand publisher Duplitech to offer limited-edition classic auto races directly to fans on DVD. The racing organization’s media group began offering 10 unreleased races through its Web site this spring.

What makes the NASCAR offering different from traditional DVD releases is that after an order is received on the web, each DVD is custom-produced from master tapes supplied by NASCAR to Duplitech, a DVD authoring company based in Redondo Beach, CA. Duplitech creates the individual DVD through its MyDVDisc publishing system for special-interest programming.

Such a process reduces cost because it removes the need for advanced DVD pressings and having to maintain an inventory of stock. It also allows far more niche fare to be sold than is traditionally found with mass-produced DVDs.

NASCAR’s deal with Duplitech stems from an earlier project where race fans could order customized interactive DVDs by selecting various desired elements and creating their own custom recording. The interactive capability provided five driver channels and the ability to jump from car to car.

However, with that project came with numerous rights issues, especially with older, classic races. Now, with most of those issues solved, NASCAR has begun to release more historic races from its vast library. Though the same features with the more recent interactive races are not always available, the Web ordering mechanisms are in place.

Once the DVD is created, it is printed and shipped to the buyer through a third-party fulfillment center. NASCAR’s only role is to supply the master tape.

NASCAR is also working with Netblender, a firm based in Alexandria, VA, on doing a similar offering with Blu-ray Discs. NetBlender recently announced a new, integrated Blu-ray production suite called DoStudio Workflow (DSW).