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RCA Press Release for September 14, 1983


Video Disc Owners Now Have Access to 1,000 'CED' Programs of All Kinds

The number of "CED" video disc titles available at retail should reach the 1,000 mark by the end of September, three months ahead of earlier forecasts, Thomas G. Kuhn, Division Vice President, RCA VideoDisc Division, announced today.

He said the heavy new release schedules for October and November should assure that the number of "CED" titles will reach or exceed 1,200 by year-end.

"We launched the video disc system in March 1981 with one monaural player model, and a catalog of 100 titles. Just two and a half years later, there are five models to choose from, including stereo and interactive players, and a selection of programs designed to appeal to a broad cross section of society," Mr. Kuhn said.

He said RCA alone has shipped some 6.5 million video disc albums under its own label since the system reached the marketplace and has been custom-pressing discs for other program suppliers.

The growing demand for custom-pressing by the major studios and other program sources "is an evolutionary development that came sooner than expected. However, in anticipation of this eventuality, we undertook an aggressive program to build a broad and diverse library of titles."

Mr. Kuhn said RCA licensed programs from dozens of sources to support the launch of its video disc system, knowing that someday these sources would want their product custom-pressed and would want to handle their own distribution.

These licenses have staggered expiration dates, so the movement of titles from RCA's label to the suppliers' labels will be gradual. In the meantime, RCA will continue to aggressively acquire and develop new programs for home video, he added.

"We believe the major studios will be custom-pressing titles not previously licensed to RCA, as well as new releases. This will lead to accelerated growth in the number of 'CED' titles available to the public. And that's a definite plus in the outlook for video disc sales," Mr. Kuhn said.

He noted that home video will not be a motion picture business forever. "We're already seeing very successful programs in the non-feature area, including the super-popular 'Jane Fonda's Workout' disc, and programs in the children's and stereo music genre."

He said RCA's joint venture with Columbia Pictures in home video "gives us access to one of the great motion picture and television libraries in Hollywood, assuring RCA a dynamic program inventory."

Looking ahead, he added, RCA is stepping up its efforts to produce and co-produce programs for the home entertainment market, including cable, cassette and disc. One area getting a great deal of attention is music video, which is expected to be a major growth area for video discs, particularly in view of RCA's new interactive player which makes it possible for viewers to preprogram discs for the first time.

In cooperation with RCA Records, Mr. Kuhn added, several projects in the music disc area have been completed and others now are in production, including "The Jefferson Starship," and "The Eurythmics."

Mr. Kuhn said the most successful non-movie disc to date -- "Jane Fonda's Workout" -- was a co-production of RCA VideoDiscs and Karl Video. It is the 15th best-selling disc in RCA's catalog.

Mr. Kuhn said RCA also looks to independently produced features, how-to programs, children's shows, and the best of television to provide substantial future programs for video discs.


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