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|RCA Press Release for August 25, 1982|
God is alive and well on the RCA VideoDisc system.
Reflecting strong consumer response to religious video disc programs such as "The Ten Commandments" and "Jesus of Nazareth", RCA has licensed five volumes of "The New Media Bible", a video translation of the Bible by the Genesis Project.
RCA also has options on the additional 27 volumes for use on its video disc system.
Seth M. Willenson, Division Vice President, Programs and Business Affairs, RCA VideoDiscs, said the popularity of programs with a religious theme is part of the strong trend toward family-oriented programming that has powered video disc sales in recent months.
He noted that "The Ten Commandments", which has a suggested retail price of $34.98, has sold approximately 30,000 copies, which amounts to more than $1 million at retail price value. "Jesus of Nazareth", Franco Zeffirelli's four-disc, eight-hour presentation of the life of Jesus, has sold some 5,000 albums with a $99.98 price tag. That's about $500,000 at retail price value.
Mr. Willenson said, "We are bringing spiritual values into the home in an historical, realistic and entertaining way that appeals to all members of the family. These video discs highlight the new medium's ability to tailor programs for specific audiences - programs that can be seen at any hour of the day."
Each of the five feature-length discs from the Genesis Project will be priced under $25 and will be available at retail starting early next year. The discs will deal with such popular Bible stories as Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Ark, and the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph. Filmed in the Holy Land, the discs also will feature the Lord's Prayer, the story of the prodigal son, Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, and the Last Supper.
At the same time, Mr. Willenson said that under an agreement with NBC Enterprises, RCA will offer "The Heritage of the Bible" on video disc in October.
Mr. Willenson called the program "a brilliant recreation of Biblical history that should prove an entertainment and educational treat for the whole family." One side of the disc, "The Law and The Prophets", features inspired images of Raphael, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and other religious works. The other side of the disc, "The Inheritance", uses famous archaeological sites of Biblical times to recount stories of the Old Testament. The disc will carry a suggested retail price of $14.98.
"The video disc will permit families to build home libraries of programs with a religious theme, which can be an important foundation for the center of family concerns and activities. The video disc also offers the opportunity to access traditional and valued ideas through the new home video technologies," Mr. Willenson said.
"To those parents who are concerned about what their children watch on television, the video disc permits them to select from a wide variety of family-oriented programs."