|BBC Studios Hone Entertainment|
|Formerly||BBC Video (1980–2006)|
Future Vision Ltd.(1985–1987)
Video Collection International Ltd.(1987–2004)
BBC DVD (1997–2009)
BBC Home Entertainment (2009–2018)
|Type||Private limited company|
|Industry||Video and Music Publishing|
|Founded||1980 (BBC Video/DVD)|
June 21, 1985 (Video Collection International)
(As Rushstage Ltd)
September 2004 (2 Entertain/BBC Studios Home Entertainment)
|Headquarters||London, England, UK|
|Helene Gustavii (Jan 2013–) (CEO)|
|Revenue||£24 million (2023)|
|£4 million (2023)|
|Total assets||£11 million (2023)|
Number of employees
2 Entertain Video Ltd. (doing business as BBC Studios Home Entertainment) is a British video and music publisher founded in 1980 to release BBC's TV shows on videotapes, DVDs and Blu-rays.
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.
For many years, BBC Video's releases were distributed by CBS/Fox Video in the United States until these rights expired on 30 June 2000, and wasn't renewed. On 28 June 2000, BBC Worldwide Americas announced a new partnership with Warner Home Video that would begin effectively on 1 July 2000, excluding the release of Walking with Dinosaurs, which was instead transferred over from CBS/Fox to Warner on 1 September .
In 1985, K-Tel, in partnership with Paddy Toomey, launched "The Video Collection", a range of budget-priced video releases that were promoted as being "A video for the price of a blank tape" that would be sold at Woolworths stores across the country. A holding company, Rushstage Limited (later renamed to "Future Vision Limited" and then again to "Video Collection International Limited" in 1987) was formed later that year.
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. In 1989, VCI formed an American subsidiary - Strand VCI Entertainment, later renamed to Strand Home Video before selling their North American distribution arm to Video Treasures in December 1993. The "Strand VCI plc" subsidiary was rebranded simply to "VCI plc" beforehand in May 1993.
In 1995, VCI plc rebranded "The Video Collection" as simply "VCI". In the same year, they founded a joint venture with the UK division of Columbia TriStar Home Video called "Cinema Club" that released budget-priced releases from the CTHV and VCI catalogues. Also within that year, VCI acquired a 49% minority stake in Hat Trick Productions' film unit - Hat Trick Films. VCI's deal would allow the company to invest £250,000 in the company's films, with a further £450,000 available for the next 18 months. The deal would expect 10 projects a year, with £50,000 paid per script. VCI already held an existing home video distribution agreement with the company for their programmes prior to the deal. By this point, the company renewed their home video contract with Thames Television.
VCI formerly held a distribution deal with Central Independent Television with the "Central Video" label until 1996, following Central's purchase by Carlton Communications.
At the beginning of 1998, VCI signed a deal with Feature Film, and a three-year sales, marketing and distribution agreement with Channel 4 to launch "Channel 4 Video", and a prior agreement with FilmFour. In March, VCI entered into a five-year joint venture with the Granada Media Group to launch the "Granada Video" label. The deal would bring a further 15,000 hours worth of content into VCI's catalogue, including programmes from GMG-owned ITV franchisees Granada Television, London Weekend Television, Tyne-Tees Television and Yorkshire Television, but did not include GMG's film division. On 8 September 1998, SMG, who already held a 26.1% share in VCI, approached a £31 million bid to purchase the company outright. On 22 September, the Kingfisher Group approached with a higher offer of £46.8 million. Kingfisher won out, with SMG selling their stake over to Kingfisher in October. Kingfisher's £59.3m purchase of Video Collection International was closed by December.
In July 2001, VCI plc was divested with Woolworths as part of the newly-formed Woolworths Group PLC. By then, VCI plc consisted of the Demon Music Group, Disc Distribution, Video Collection International and Cinema Club. In September, the company signed a seven-year agreement with longstanding partner Ragdoll Productions to release the revival of Brum on home video, which was expanded to include Boohbah in November 2002.
In June 2002, the company sold Disc Distribution to Deluxe Video Services, allowing them to physically distribute VCI's product. In July 2002, Woolworths Group announced their intentions to sell off the business. Witin the middle of the year, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment sold their stake in Cinema Club over to VCI, and moved their budget distribution arm over to Universal Pictures Video, forming "Universal Columbia Alliance", later known as "Universal Sony Alliance". VCI began to operate Cinema Club as a mainstream budget label following the sale, akin to other budget distributors such as Prism Leisure.
On 12 July 2004, Woolworths Group PLC and BBC Worldwide announced a new joint-venture company called 2 Entertain (stylized as 2 | entertain), which their existing home video units would merge into which are BBC Video and Video Collection International (the latter was renamed to 2 Entertain itself). The BBC's home entertainment unit is still used as of today despite the 2 Entertain merger. BBC Worldwide would hold 60% ownership, while Woolworths would hold 40%. The merger was completed by September of that year. While most BBC releases would be released under the venture, BBC Worldwide would retain standalone rights to children's, music and educational products. The venture retained its partnerships with HIT Entertainment (For Thomas & Friends releases until 2008), Ragdoll Productions, and their worldwide rights for Manchester United releases. The 2 Entertain brand was used for full-price releases, while Cinema Club was retained for budget-priced releases.
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. An additional international deal was announced when the company signed a deal with En Pantalla to allow the company to distribute their factual titles in Latin America and Brazil.
On 26 November 2008, BBC Worldwide were announced to be in talks about purchasing Woolworths Group's 40% stake in 2 Entertain. This was finalised by March 2010, making 2 Entertain a fully owned subsidiary.
On 30 April 2012, BBC Worldwide signed a deal with Roadshow Entertainment for distribution of content in Australia and New Zealand within a five-year period, beginning 1 July. This deal was not renewed beyond this agreement, and currently BBC products in Australia and New Zealand are distributed by Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Starting in May 2012, the 2 Entertain is now used as a label for non-BBC broadcast content (although 2 Entertain is still the legal name of the company). However as of 2022, very little non-BBC content is released through the company.
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.
|Turnover||United Kingdom||United States & Canada||Rest of the World|