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Universal Swaps ‘Video' for ‘Entertainment'

21 Oct, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Citing the burgeoning digitization of entertainment beyond DVD and its emerging dominance at retail, Universal Studios Home Video is changing its name to Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE), effective immediately.

The division handles all domestic and international distribution of video product for Universal NBC, including units Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Rogue Pictures, among others.

In the fourth quarter, USHE will release select TV DVD fare, including Dream On (HBO), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, second-season editions of Quantum Leap and Northern Exposure. Miami Vice and Las Vegas are slated for release in 2005.

USHE also distributes titles from DreamWorks SKG, including Shrek, Shrek 2, and upcoming releases Collateral, starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, and The Terminal, with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

“The success of the DVD format has been nothing short of revolutionary,” said Craig Kornblau, USHE president. “As we move forward with our ambitious rollout of new and classic NBC Universal movie and TV properties, DVD will continue to play an increasingly prominent role.”

What, if any, additional media formats USHE may be incorporating in the near future remains unclear.

A USHE spokesperson denied any implication of separate media formats to DVD for its programming and, instead, reiterated the role DVD has played in how people watch entertainment.

“[DVD] is making an impact in the way people watch TV — an entire series or [if they] miss some shows. They are catching up not by watching reruns, but by buying season one or season two. They are building their libraries,” the spokesperson said. “In that regard, the way people are watching TV is being impacted because TV product is now coming out on DVD.”

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