2 Entertain

2 Entertain (stylized as 2 | entertain)[1] is a British video and music publisher founded in 2004 as a result of the merger between BBC Video and Video Collection International. 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.

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 (1980) (BBC Video)
1984 (1984) (Video Collection International)
(As Rushstage Ltd)
September 2004 (September 2004) (2 Entertain)
FoundersBBC
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK[2]
BrandsBBC
2 Entertain
Revenue £24 million (2021)
£4 million (2021)
Total assets £11 million (2021)
OwnerBBC
Number of employees
0 (2021)
ParentBBC Studios

History

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.

For many years, BBC Video's releases were distributed by CBS/Fox Video in the United States until these rights expired on June 30, 2000, and wasn't renewed. On June 28, 2000, BBC Worldwide Americas announced a new partnership with Warner Home Video that would begin effectively on July 1, 2000, excluding the release of Walking with Dinosaurs, which was instead transferred over from CBS/Fox to Warner on September 1.[3]

Video Collection International

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

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%.[4] The merger was completed by September of that year.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

On November 26, 2008, BBC Worldwide were announced to be in talks about purchasing Woolworths Group's 40% stake in 2 Entertain.[8] This was finalised by March 2010, making 2 Entertain a fully owned subsidiary.[9]

On April 30, 2012, BBC Worldwide signed a deal with Roadshow Entertainment for distribution of content in Australia and New Zealand within a five-year period, beginning July 1.[10] 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.

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.[11]

Operations

Table showing the turnover made by geographical region since 1995[12]
Turnover United Kingdom United States & Canada Rest of the World
1995 £35,132,000
1996 £29,958,000 £8,202,000 £1,578,000
1997 £28,181,000 £19,430,000 £829,000
1998 £26,738,000 £2,222,000 -115,000
1999 £36,044,000 £1,468,000 £584,000
2000 £40,666,000 £1,271,000 £154,000
2001 £37,943,000 £764,000 £311,000
2002 £50,558,000 £109,000 £193,000
2003 £65,803,000 £1,126,000 £92,000
2004 [13]
2005 £118,007,000 £2,526,000 £7,726,000
2006 £128,050,000 £26,295,000 £11,719,000
2007 £124,817,000 £30,200,000 £14,200,000
2008 £112,123,000 £97,573,000 £15,600,000
2009 £115,746,000 £74,763,000 £20,193,000
2010 £124,870,000 £63,100,000 £26,500,000
2011 £104,522,000 £64,328,000 £19,012,000
2012 £97,118,000 £41,067,000 £19,198,000
2013 £69,196,000 £41,245,000 £16,060,000
2014 £55,048,000 £37,233,000 £14,098,000
2015 £38,961,000 £33,625,000 £14,193,000
2016 £32,199,000 £24,280,000 £8,287,000
2017 £26,062,000 £22,175,000 £4,464,000
2018 £22,001,000 £22,490,000 £4,162,000
2019 £18,593,000 £16,563,000 £1,622,000
2020 £13,935,000 £9,789,000 £2,157,000
2021 £13,703,000 £8,836,000 £1,717,000

References

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