2 Entertain Video Limited
BBC Studios Home Entertainment
  • BBC Video (1980–2004)
  • Rushstage Limited (June–August 1985)[1]
  • Future Vision Limited (1985–1987)[1]
  • Video Collection International Limited (1987–2004)[1]
  • BBC DVD (1997–2009)
  • BBC Home Entertainment (2009–2018)
Company typePrivate limited company[1]
IndustryVideo and Music Publishing
Founded1980; 44 years ago (1980) (BBC Video/DVD)
21 June 1985; 38 years ago (1985-06-21) (Video Collection International)
(As Rushstage Ltd)
September 2004; 19 years ago (September 2004) (BBC Studios Home Entertainment)
(As 2 Entertain)
FoundersBBC Worldwide
Woolworths Group
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK[2]
Key people
Helene Gustavii (Jan 2013–) (CEO)
RevenueDecrease £24 million (2023)
Decrease £4 million (2023)
Total assetsDecrease £11 million (2023)
Number of employees
1 (2023)
ParentBBC Studios

2 Entertain Video Limited,[1] trading as BBC Studios Home Entertainment, is a British video and music publisher founded in 2004 following the merger of BBC Video and Video Collection International by BBC Worldwide & Woolworths Group respectively.


BBC Video

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.

Video Collection International

In October 1985, K-Tel and Braveworld, subsidiaries of the New Southgate-based Prestwich Group, 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.[3] Both Braveworld and The Video Collection were seen as sister labels, with The Video Collection mainly handling re-releases of classic films and special interest titles.[4][5]

In 1986, Thames Television began releasing their home media products through The Video Collection, under the label "Thames Video Collection". On 16 July, Karl-Lorimar Home Video inked an agreement with The Video Collection in order to distribute children's, family and special interest programs for the British market, and would also release Scholastic-Lorimar Home Video releases for the whole entire British market.[6] Shortly afterwards, The Video Collection underwent a management buyout and began operating independently through holding company Rushstage Limited (later renamed to "Future Vision Limited" and then again to "Video Collection International Limited" in 1987). With this, 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.[7]

In 1989, VCI launched the "Cinema Club" budget label, signing a deal with RCA Columbia Pictures International Video/Columbia TriStar Home Video to release their back catalogue. Also in the year, Central Independent Television subsidiary Central Video began distributing its products through The Video Collection, replacing Pickwick Video.

The "Strand VCI plc" subsidiary was rebranded simply to "VCI plc" beforehand in May 1993.[8]

In 1995, VCI plc rebranded "The Video Collection" as simply "VCI". In April, 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.[9] Within the same year, the company renewed its home video deal with Thames Television[10] while Cinema Club became a standalone division of VCI, turning into a joint-venture with Columbia TriStar Home Video.[11][12]

On 20 January 1996, the company secured a ten-year extension to its home video deal with Manchester United and purchased the club's book and publishing interests for £2.4 million, allowing VCI to publish books and magazines based on the club.[13] In September, the company secured a £300 million deal to purchase the football club, which Manchester United rejected.[14][15][16] At the end of the year, Central's home video contract with VCI expired, with Central moving distribution over to their parent company Carlton.[10] VCI also took over sell-through distribution of products released by FilmFour, with FilmFour retaining rental rights, as VCI did not operate a rental division.

At the beginning of 1998, VCI signed a deal with Feature Film, and signed a three-year sales, marketing and distribution agreement with Channel 4's "Channel 4 Video" subsidiary.[17][18] This followed a prior agreement with FilmFour where VCI would distribute their retail stock.[19] 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.[20] On 8 September 1998, SMG, who already held a 26.1% share in VCI, approached a £31 million bid to purchase the company outright.[21] 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.[22] Kingfisher's £59.3m purchase of Video Collection International was closed by December.

On 6 October 2000, Carlton Communications purchased book publisher André Deutsch from VCI plc, including literature rights to Granada Media's properties and the Manchester United Books imprint. [23]

In July 2001, VCI plc was divested with Woolworths as part of the newly-formed Woolworths Group.[24] 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,[25] which was expanded in November 2002 to include Boohbah.[26]

In June 2002, the Cinema Club joint venture with Columbia TriStar ended, with the Cinema Club label being taken over fully by VCI with the label reduced to releasing VCI's back catalogue on DVD for budget prices.[27] Columbia TriStar moved it's budget arm to Universal Pictures Video, forming a new joint-venture called UCA.[28] In the same month, the company sold Disc Distribution to Deluxe Video Services, allowing them to physically distribute VCI's product.[29] In July 2002, Woolworths Group announced their intentions to sell off the business.[30]

2 Entertain/BBC Studios Home Entertainment

On 12 July 2004, Woolworths Group and BBC Worldwide announced a new joint-venture company called 2 Entertain (stylized as 2 | entertain),[31] 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%.[32] The merger was completed by September of that year.[33] While most BBC releases would be released under the venture, BBC Worldwide would initially retain standalone rights to children's, music and educational products until 2010. The venture retained its partnerships with HIT Entertainment (For Thomas & Friends releases until 2008; after which HIT started self-releasing Thomas titles), 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.[34]

Prior to this, Granada Media, one of VCI's main partners, had purchased Carlton Communications and renamed itself ITV plc in February. Carlton already had a home video unit (which was called Carlton Visual Entertainment) and because of the BBC's status in 2 Entertain, ITV ended their deal with VCI and eventually, all ITV material started being released through Carlton's unit, which was renamed Granada Ventures. In June 2005, Channel 4 announced the end of their partnership with VCI, and started up its own home video distribution unit - 4DVD in July, with Lace International handling distribution.[35] Channel 4 citified that they were uncomfortable with the BBC's co-ownership in 2 Entertain and that it jeopardized their DVD sales, this prompted them to move to distributing DVDs in-house. Spirit Entertainment later took over distribution, though still using Channel 4 DVD branding.

On 26 November 2008, BBC Worldwide were announced to be in talks about purchasing Woolworths Group's 40% stake in 2 Entertain.[36] This was finalised in March 2010, making 2 Entertain a fully owned subsidiary, additionally, in the same year, BBC Worldwide's standalone rights to children's, music and educational products would transfer to 2 Entertain.[37]

Starting in May 2012, the BBC label once again started to be solely used for BBC broadcast content, while the 2 Entertain label was reduced to being used for non-BBC broadcast content, in addition, the company was eventually renamed BBC Studios Home Entertainment (although 2 Entertain is still the legal name of the company).

In April 2022, BBC Studios Home Entertainment (and therefore 2 Entertain) signed a distribution deal with British distributor Spirit Entertainment to represent its physical catalogue in the United Kingdom, after their deal with Sony DADC expired.[38]

International Deals

BBC Video

In the United States, BBC Video's releases were initially distributed by CBS/Fox Video throughout the 1980s and 1990s until the end of June 2000, when the two companies decided not to renew their deal. On 28 June 2000, BBC Worldwide 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 2000.[39] In December 2006, 2 Entertain (which had been releasing most of the BBC's output in the UK around that time) renewed their US distribution agreement with Warner Home Video for BBC content.[40]

In Australia and New Zealand, BBC Worldwide initially distributed their products through PolyGram Video before entering into a long-term partnership with both ABC Commercial and Roadshow Entertainment that began in 1996 and was renewed many times, with one being a four-year extension occurring in September 2008.[41] On 30 April 2012, BBC Worldwide signed a five-year standalone Australian and New Zealand deal with Roadshow Entertainment within a five-year period, beginning 1 July.[42] Following the expiration of this deal, BBC Worldwide/Studios began distributing its products through Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In Latin America and Brazil, BBC Worldwide signed a deal with En Pantalla in March 2007 for the distribution of BBC's factual titles.[43]

Video Collection International

The Video Collection label was briefly used in European territories throughout the mid-late 1980s, operating in France as Vidéo Collection France, and in Spain as Vídeo Colección S.A.

In 1989, VCI formed a North American subsidiary called Strand VCI Entertainment, which would distribute content in North America. They were rebranded as Strand Home Video in 1992.[44] In December 1993, VCI plc exited North America by selling Strand Home Video to the Handleman Company, who eventually folded Strand into their Video Treasures division, VCI would stick to UK VHS releases from then-on.[45]


Table showing the turnover made by geographical region since 1995[46]
Turnover United Kingdom United States & Canada Rest of the World
1995 £35,132,000
1996 Decrease£29,958,000 £8,202,000 £1,578,000
1997 Decrease£28,181,000 Increase£19,430,000 Decrease£829,000
1998 Decrease£26,738,000 Decrease£2,222,000 Decrease-115,000
1999 Increase£36,044,000 Decrease£1,468,000 Increase£584,000
2000 Increase£40,666,000 Decrease£1,271,000 Decrease£154,000
2001 Decrease£37,943,000 Decrease£764,000 Increase£311,000
2002 Increase£50,558,000 Decrease£109,000 Decrease£193,000
2003 Increase£65,803,000 Increase£1,126,000 Decrease£92,000
2004 [47]
2005 Increase£118,007,000 Increase£2,526,000 Increase£7,726,000
2006 Increase£128,050,000 Increase£26,295,000 Increase£11,719,000
2007 Decrease£124,817,000 Increase£30,200,000 Increase£14,200,000
2008 Decrease£112,123,000 Increase£97,573,000 Increase£15,600,000
2009 Increase£115,746,000 Decrease£74,763,000 Increase£20,193,000
2010 Increase£124,870,000 Decrease£63,100,000 Increase£26,500,000
2011 Decrease£104,522,000 Decrease£64,328,000 Decrease£19,012,000
2012 Decrease£97,118,000 Decrease£41,067,000 Increase£19,198,000
2013 Decrease£69,196,000 Decrease£41,245,000 Decrease£16,060,000
2014 Decrease£55,048,000 Decrease£37,233,000 Decrease£14,098,000
2015 Decrease£38,961,000 Decrease£33,625,000 Increase£14,193,000
2016 Decrease£32,199,000 Decrease£24,280,000 Decrease£8,287,000
2017 Decrease£26,062,000 Decrease£22,175,000 Decrease£4,464,000
2018 Decrease£22,001,000 Increase£22,490,000 Decrease£4,162,000
2019 Decrease£18,593,000 Decrease£16,563,000 Decrease£1,622,000
2020 Decrease£13,935,000 Decrease£9,789,000 Increase£2,157,000
2021 Decrease£13,703,000 Decrease£8,836,000 Decrease£1,717,000


  1. ^ a b c d e "2 Entertain Video Limited overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 21 June 1985. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  2. ^ "Contact us". 2 Entertain. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Woolworth pioneers pre-recorded video tapes". www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Billboard". 22 February 1986.
  5. ^ "Billboard". 15 February 1986.
  6. ^ "Karl/Lorimar Kidvid Distributed In U.K. By Video Collection". Variety. 16 July 1986. p. 31.
  7. ^ "2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  8. ^ "WW REALISATION 8 LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  9. ^ "VCI scores with Hat Trick buy". 17 April 1995.
  10. ^ a b "Billboard". 28 March 1998.
  11. ^ "COLUMBIA TRISTAR CINEMA CLUB LIMITED filing history - Find and update company information - GOV.UK".
  12. ^ "VCI plc :: Cinema Club". 3 August 2001. Archived from the original on 3 August 2001.
  13. ^ "Taking Stock". Independent.co.uk. 20 January 1996.
  14. ^ "Concern over failed Man Utd bid". The Independent. 25 September 1996.
  15. ^ "Bid rumours lift Man United". The Independent. 11 October 1996.
  16. ^ "VCI warns of slowdown in trading". The Independent. 21 November 1996.
  17. ^ "Billboard". 7 March 1998.
  18. ^ Deans, Jason (14 October 2003). "Phoenix Nights DVD notches up record sales". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Pathe takes over FilmFour slate". Screen. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Billboard". 28 March 1998.
  21. ^ "SMG launches pounds 31m bid for VCI video publisher". The Independent. 8 September 1998. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  22. ^ "Kingfisher buys Brit vid firm". 19 October 1998.
  23. ^ "André Deutsch snapped up by Carlton".
  24. ^ "Investegate".
  25. ^ "SUPER-BRAVE HERO GETS SUPER VIDEO DEAL". www.ragdoll.co.uk. Archived from the original on 23 September 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  26. ^ "Five-year deal for Ragdoll's new preschooler series". C21Media.
  27. ^ "VCI plc: Cinema Club". 6 August 2002. Archived from the original on 6 August 2002.
  28. ^ "UK: Columbia und Universal kooperieren bei Backkatalog".
  29. ^ Woolworths Group dead link))
  30. ^ Laurance, Ben (12 April 2012). "Woolies in talks to sell off VCI". Evening Standard.
  31. ^ "2 Entertain Video Limited overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 21 June 1985. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  32. ^ "Woolworths and BBC strike video, music and TV deal".
  33. ^ "Anticipated joint venture between BBC Worldwide Limited and Woolworths Group plc" (PDF). Office of Fair Trading. 30 September 2004.
  34. ^ "2 Entertain". Archived from the original on 11 May 2005.
  35. ^ "Growing pains in the world of DVD".
  36. ^ "BBC Worldwide in talks with Woolworths to buy DVD publisher 2entertain". TheGuardian.com. 26 November 2008.
  37. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Worldwide reaches agreement on 2|entertain". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  38. ^ "BBC Studios and Spirit Entertainment announce UK sales and distribution deal".
  39. ^ "BBC Worldwide Americas And Warner Home Video Announce Distribution Deal" (Press release). Burbank, CA and New York, NY: BBC Worldwide Americas and Warner Home Video. 28 June 2000.
  40. ^ "WarnerBros.com | Warner Home Video And 2entertain Renew Home Entertainment Distribution Deal For BBC Programming | Press Releases". www.warnerbros.com. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  41. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Worldwide Looks to the Future with ABC Commercial and Roadshow DVD Deal".
  42. ^ "Roadshow Entertainment to distribute BBC Worldwide DVD's". 30 April 2012.
  43. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Worldwide secures DVD Distribution Deal in Mexico and Central America".
  44. ^ "Strand Expands Its Music, Kid Lines". 20 June 1992.
  45. ^ "Handleman Labels On Treasure Hunt". 11 June 1994.
  46. ^ "2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO LIMITED filing history - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  47. ^ No accounts made during 2004, most likely due to the acquisition of 2 Entertain by BBC Studios.