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|RCA Press Release for October 12, 1981 No. 2|
CANNES, France, October 11 -- RCA video disc player owners are buying discs at a much faster rate than RCA had originally anticipated, Herbert S. Schlosser, executive vice president of RCA announced here today.
Mr. Schlosser made the announcement to the press at Vidcom, the international video communications conference. He cited a recent survey of more than 1,000 owners of video disc players which indicated that early player buyers are very satisfied with software being offered.
"The player owners have averaged 15 albums in four months, nearly twice as many as originally anticipated," he said. "We are rapidly expanding our disc production capabilities in Indianapolis to keep pace with the growing demand for discs.
"When we planned our initial catalog, we put the emphasis on feature films because we expected movies with their broad-based appeal and pre-sold nature to be the locomotive which would pull the video disc train," he added. "So far, this strategy has been correct for movies have accounted for far more than half our sales."
Mr. Schlosser pointed out that even though over half of the RCA titles are feature films, RCA has not neglected diversity in its catalog. He said, "Even at this early stage we are offering scores of titles in such categories as Music, Variety, Sports, the Best of Television, Children's Programs, Drama and the Performing Arts.
"As the player population grows, it will be feasible to provide many more offerings appealing to special interest -- not unlike the publishing business," he said. "We also expect music to become an extremely important category, for if anything can rival movies for repeatability and collectability, it's music."
There are currently 151 titles in the RCA "SelectaVision" VideoDisc catalog, with several more expected to be added in 1981. RCA will also announce an additional group of video disc titles for availability in early 1982, which should bring the combination of RCA and MGM/CBS Video titles which will play on any CED player to over 200.
Mr. Schlosser mentioned RCA's recent consolidation of all its home entertainment activities, including RCA "Selectavision" VideoDiscs"; RCA Records; and RCA's participation in joint ventures with Columbia Pictures in international video entertainment and Rockefeller Center, Inc., in the RCTV pay-cable program service.
Mr. Schlosser said that RCA's joint venture with Columbia Pictures International will supply home video programs on all cassette and disc formats throughout the world, excluding the United States and Canada.
The joint venture is called RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video and expects to be in operation initially in Great Britain in the first quarter of 1982.
"This joint venture will have the resource of the great Columbia Pictures Library of motion pictures and television programs," he continued, "as well as programs supplied by RCA, by third parties and those made especially for the home video market. The Columbia Pictures Library contains about 2,500 motion pictures and more than 10,000 hours of television programs."
Mr. Schlosser also discussed RCA's recent joint venture with Rockefeller Center, Inc. for a new pay-cable service called The Entertainment Channel. RCTV, the new joint venture, will deliver The Entertainment Channel to cable systems beginning early in 1982.
RCTV has recently put a strong executive management team in place headed by Arthur R. Taylor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive officer. In addition, RCTV has signed a long-term agreement with Wold Communications to deliver programming to cable systems via Westar III satellite.
"The Entertainment Channel will offer quality popular entertainment including series, specials, drama, comedy, films, theater and children's programs," Mr. Schlosser said. "The Entertainment Channel will have exclusivity for pay-TV and first choice of over 5,000 hours of programming per year originated by the BBC, the world's largest producer of television programming."
Mr. Schlosser said that RCA Records is expanding into home video entertainment. RCA Records' international subsidiaries will provide sales and support services to RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video's branch operations in major markets around the world. In addition, RCA Records' video music programs and RCA "SelectaVision" programs will also flow through the joint venture.