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RCA Press Release for October 17, 1982


Video Disc Sales To Top $200 Million in The United States Despite Economy

CANNES, France, October 17 -- Video disc activity is picking up momentum in the United States and sales of players and albums combined should exceed the $200 million-mark in 1982, an RCA executive predicted today at VIDCOM '82.

"This is a significant achievement which becomes even more dramatic when viewed against the economic environment of the past year," according to Thomas G. Kuhn, Division Vice President, RCA VideoDiscs.

He attributed the strong performance to a reduction in the basic video disc player price to below $300, the addition of two stereo players to the line, a broadly expanded catalog of programs available at retail, and the desire to build home video libraries.

Mr. Kuhn said consumers are buying discs at a faster pace than anticipated, with those owning their players a year or more owning an average of approximately 30 discs.

Noting that the Electronics Industry Association (U.S.) has estimated video disc player sales at between 250,000 and 350,000 units this year, and video disc sales at between 5 million and 7.5 million albums, Mr. Kuhn said, "We're looking at a business that could range from $200 million to almost $300 million at retail value, depending on total sales for the year."

RCA and CBS/Fox Video both make the video discs that can be played on any Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) player. Their catalogs, together with titles from MGM/UA, should approximate 400 by year-end. Another 300 or more titles are expected to be released in 1983.

Mr. Kuhn said the "CED" system has become the preeminent video disc system in the United States consumer market because of its high reliability, excellent quality and low cost. "The CED video disc represents the best home entertainment buy on the market," he added.

So far in 1982, he said, RCA has taken several steps to strengthen the video disc business. These include:

-- Introduction of stereo players and discs which has broadened the appeal of the "CED" system;

-- Expansion of the CED player line to include four models, two monaural and two stereo, giving consumers a choice of players to fit most budgets;

-- Use of major consumer promotions to heighten interest and awareness in the "CED" system, including a free "Star Wars" video disc with the purchase of any RCA video disc player.

Mr. Kuhn said consumer reaction to the offering of current movies such as "On Golden Pond" and "Superman" had a very positive impact on sales this summer, particularly when retailers offered the discs free with the purchase of a player.

"It is evident that software is a very profitable repeat business, especially for those dealers who stock and display a wide variety of 'CED' titles in their stores. As we have contended all along, the software sells the hardware," Mr. Kuhn said.


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