2 Entertain

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2 Entertain[1]
TypePrivate limited company[1]
IndustryVideo and Music Publishing
PredecessorsBBC Video (1980–2004)
Rushstage Ltd.[1](1984)
Future Vision Ltd.[1](1984–1987)
Video Collection International Ltd.[1](1987–2004)
Founded1980; 42 years ago (1980) (BBC Video)
1984; 38 years ago (1984) (Video Collection International)
(As Rushstage Ltd)
September 2004; 17 years ago (September 2004) (2 Entertain)
FoundersBBC
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK[2]
BrandsBBC
2 Entertain
OwnerBBC
ParentBBC Studios

2 Entertain (stylized as 2 | entertain)[1] is a British video and music publisher founded in September 2004 by the merger of BBC Video and Video Collection International in 2004. Under CEO Richard Green, the company operated as a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and the Woolworths Group until BBC bought out Woolworths' share following the latter's administration in 2008.

History[edit]

BBC Video[edit]

The first BBC Video opening logo, used from 1980 to 1988.

BBC Video was established in 1980 as a division of BBC Enterprises (later BBC Worldwide) with John Ross Barnard at the head, just as home video systems were starting to gain ground.

At launch, the BBC had no agreement with British talent unions such as Equity or the Musician's Union (MU), so BBC Video was limited in the television programming it could release. Initially, video cassette and laser-disc releases were either programmes with no Equity or MU involvement, such as natural history and other documentaries, or material licensed from third parties, including feature films such as High Noon and the first video release of Deep Purple's California Jam concert.

For the first few years, the BBC produced videotapes in both VHS and Betamax formats. The company also worked with Philips on early Laserdisc releases, including a notable ornithology disc called British Garden Birds, presented by David Attenborough. This disc was published in 1982 and included digital data in the form of Teletext, which could be read by any suitably-equipped television. This pioneering use of a data channel on a consumer video format led directly to the development of the BBC Domesday Project in 1984–1986. Since videos could have stereo soundtracks, BBC Video produced stereophonic versions of many programmes that had been broadcast in mono. These included The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer.

The label grew significantly from £13 million turnover in 1989 to nearly £39 million in 1994, enjoying success from television and film serials which had proved popular when first televised and faced high demand for a video release once the new technology became widespread, reducing the need for television reruns.

In 1991, BBC Video was the number-one video label in the UK when it sold more prerecorded videotapes, by value as well as by unit count, than any other company, including all of the Hollywood studios combined.

In the early 2000s, BBC Worldwide Americas signed an agreement with Warner Home Video, which received a somewhat negative response but decent feedback from those who believed it had potential.

Video Collection International[edit]

Video Collection International was a video company based in London, England. It was opened in 1984. Originally part of the Prestwich Group, based in New Southgate, London, the company was subject to a management buyout. The company expanded rapidly, securing the market lead in retail video sales throughout the mid to late 1980s and into the early to mid-1990s. Video Collection International merged with Thames Video a year later in 1985, forming the Thames Video Collection label.

2 Entertain[edit]

On July 12, 2004, Woolworths Group PLC and BBC Worldwide announced a new joint-venture company called 2 Entertain, which their existing home video units would merge into. BBC Worldwide would hold 60% ownership, while Woolworths would hold 40%.[3] The merger was completed by September of that year.[4]

Around this time, Granada plc merged with Carlton Communications, and soon ended their deal with the ex-VCI company in order to distribute under Carlton's home media unit, which was renamed to Granada Ventures, and currently operates as ITV Ventures Limited. Channel 4 also began self-releasing titles on DVD themselves under the brand name Channel 4 DVD around the same time, later eventually go on to have their DVDs released by Spirit Entertainment, though still using Channel 4 DVD branding.

In December 2006, 2 Entertain renewed their US distribution agreement with Warner Home Video.[5]

In March 2010, BBC Worldwide acquired Woolworths Group's 40% stake in 2 Entertain from the latter's administrators, making it a fully owned subsidiary.[6]

As of November 2013, the 2 Entertain is currently used as a label for non-BBC broadcast content, although it remains a standalone legal entity of BBC Studios.

In March 2022, BBC Studios Home Entertainment signed a distribution deal with British distributor Spirit Entertainment to represent its physical catalogue in the United Kingdom.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO LIMITED". Companies House. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Contact us". 2 Entertain. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Woolworths and BBC strike video, music and TV deal".
  4. ^ "Anticipated joint venture between BBC Worldwide Limited and Woolworths Group plc" (PDF). Office of Fair Trading. 30 September 2004.
  5. ^ "WarnerBros.com | Warner Home Video And 2entertain Renew Home Entertainment Distribution Deal For BBC Programming | Press Releases". www.warnerbros.com. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  6. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Worldwide reaches agreement on 2|entertain". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  7. ^ "BBC Studios and Spirit Entertainment announce UK sales and distribution deal".