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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Sparks Don't Fly at NAVD Meeting in L.A. -- Ingram Unchallenged

9 Nov, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The expected sparks didn't fly at yesterday's National Association of Video Distributors meeting in Los Angeles.

Despite rumors that a move would be made to boot Ingram Entertainment off the board, or at least censure the distributor, for its exclusive deals with studios, the matter was barely brought up.

Feisty distributor Steven Scavelli, president of Flash Electronics in Brooklyn, N.Y., reportedly did bring the matter up, asking his board members whether Ingram might have violated NAVD charter provisions and, if so, whether some sort of action should be taken.

Scavelli won't comment, but other distribution sources say that despite Scavelli's urgings, no action was taken "or even considered. They did pull the charter out and several distributors said it was worth looking into, but in the end nothing happened."

NAVD board members focused on other matters. "We do still have common interests," executive director Bill Burton told me last night in the lobby of the Le Meridien, where wholesalers were gathering prior to a dinner with MGM executives. Among them: getting DVD on a par with VHS in all areas, including margins and returns; late shipments of product; and funding another video store census with the VSDA, to the tune of $50,000 total cost.

Distributors also queried studios about the recent holdback of some DVD releases (they're against it), if and when they will adopt a two-tiered pricing structure for DVD to mirror the current VHS model (they're for it), and what studios plan on doing about the increasingly likelihood of defective DVDs once the rental market really gets rolling.

In short, it was a business as usual--in a most unusual business.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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