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|RCA Press Release for August 11, 1981|
INDIANAPOLIS, August 11 -- RCA today announced that the 25 new and diverse titles being added to its growing video disc catalog are designed to appeal to consumer tastes ranging from Bogart to the Beatles, from tennis to "The Not Ready For Prime Time Players" on "Saturday Night Live."
"These titles bring to 151 the number now available from RCA and they expand every major category in our catalog," according to Howard M. Ballon, director of market planning for RCA "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs. The new titles will be available at retail beginning this fall.
Mr. Ballon said the titles in RCA's catalog have been carefully chosen to provide programs that appeal to the widest possible audience -- young and old, male or female.
In outlining RCA's ambitious fall marketing and promotion plans for video discs at a distributor meeting here, Mr. Ballon said the real challenge is to help dealers effectively merchandise the catalog.
"There is a positive correlation between the number of titles stocked and players sold," he added. "All of our merchandising and advertising programs will be especially effective because of special attention to software. Key dealers' stock of discs, the use of disc and displays, point-of-sale materials, and the ability to reorder discs from distributors will have a positive influence on RCA video disc system sales. A key dealer can now carry well over 100 titles at retail.
"Our catalog additions were selected with this stress on quality software in mind. We have Julie Andrews singing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in Walt Disney's unforgettable 'Mary Poppins'; Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose and Tug McGraw starring in the Philadelphia Phillies first World Series victory in 98 years; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers doing their thing in 'Swing Time'; Elvis Presley having 'Fun In Acapulco'; and David Janssen in one of television's highest rated programs -- 'The Fugitive: The Final Episode.'"
Add -to these such current hits as "Raging Bull" with Robert DeNiro in his Academy Award winning role as boxer, Jake LaMotta; "Elephant Man," a poignant story of human courage and dignity with John Hurt; and Mel Brooks' zany "History Of The World, Part l," which will appear on disc only four months after being one of the summer's most popular movies.
For those who like classic films, RCA is offering "The African Queen" with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn; "Stagecoach," John Ford's 1937 western which launched the career of John Wayne; and "City Lights," which film critics have called Charlie Chaplin's greatest movie.
Seth M. Willenson, staff vice president, programs and business affairs for RCA "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs, said many of the titles in RCA's catalog are or will become the basis for home video disc collections. Many of RCA's video disc titles represent the first in a series of disc releases of movies by popular stars.
"Just as people collect books, records, stamps, coins and autographs, they will collect video discs of their favorite stars or favorite genre of programs. Our Star Trek discs have borne this out."
Mr. Willenson said "From Russia With Love" is the second James Bond movie to be added to the category and "our research indicates his fans are eagerly waiting for more."Video disc collections will grow in popularity, spurred by Bogart titles like "The African Queen" and "Casablanca." and the great Chaplin classics. Charles Bronson fans, for example, now can own some of his great hits, such as "Death Wish," "The Magnificent Seven," "The Great Escape" and "The Dirty Dozen."
Mr. Willenson said one new disc -- "Complete Tennis From The Pros, Vol. 1 -- was made for the video disc and emphasizes RCA's commitment to new ideas and non-feature film programming. He said RCA will make "Friday The 13th," the year's most popular horror film, available in time for Halloween. "And Beatles fans of all ages will want to collect their last film together -- 'Let It Be.'"
"As we diversify and broaden the catalog in the months and years ahead, we will appeal to that large group of collectors who want to build in-home video libraries of movies, the best of television, children's programs, sports highlights or instruction, Shakespeare, the ballet, music, how-to programs, or a combination of these categories," he added.