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CBS Home Entertainment (CBS DVD) is a home video entertainment arm of CBS Corporation.

Contents

CBS Video Enterprises

CBS, Inc. owned a home video arm, CBS Video Enterprises (CVE). The unit was formed by CBS, Inc. in 1978.

In 1979, CBSVE formed a joint venture with MGM, MGM/CBS Home Video licensed the film library of MGM for release on home videocassette, following the early leads of Paramount Home Video, 20th Century Fox's Magnetic Video division and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).

In addition to the MGM film library, the company released output from CBS News, CBS Records, the CBS television network, CBS Theatrical Films, and the motion picture division of Lorimar.

By 1981, MGM/CBS had expanded from VHS and Betamax to RCA's CED system as well. In 1982, CBS withdrew from the MGM joint venture. The MGM/CBS company reorganized into MGM/UA Home Video.

A short time later, CBS purchased a stake in 20th Century Fox's home video operation, and formed CBS/FOX Video. The new company reissued many of CBS' properties issued under the CBS/FOX label, in addition to films under the 20th Century Fox banner. Two speciality labels, Key Video, and Playhouse Video, were also created.

The CBS/FOX joint venture was reorganized in 1990, with Key Video and Playhouse Video ceasing operations, and Fox Video was created to release the mainstream output of 20th Century Fox. CBS continued to issue their product and programming under the Fox Video label until 1998, and utilized the CBS/FOX label for BBC Video programs until 1999.

In 1999, CBS/FOX ceased existence as a company, shutting the Fox partnership down, mainly because of CBS' merger talks with Viacom, which itself was once owned by CBS and now owned by National Amusements. FOX's distribution arm is now 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The new division

The CBS/Viacom merger was completed in 1999, but then were split again at the end of 2005. However, both companies are still controlled by National Amusements. As such, distribution for all releases by CBS DVD (the new branding for CBS Video) is handled by Paramount Home Entertainment. On September 26, 2006, CBS Home Entertainment was joined with CBS Paramount Domestic Television, CBS Paramount International Television, and King World to form CBS Television Distribution.

This includes:

  • Programs owned by CBS Studios, with certain exceptions such as:
    • Until 2001, CBS owned the rights to several Dr. Seuss animated specials produced by the network in association with DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. The last video releases made by CBS were in 2000, with distribution by Paramount. CBS sold the rights to the specials to Universal Studios (which has a theme park license for the Dr. Seuss universe, and which also made several feature-length film versions of Seuss stories) in 2001. Universal (ironically now a sister company to CBS rival NBC) has released the specials on VHS and DVD in the following years.
  • The video rights to the television holdings of Republic Pictures (which CBS now owns distribution rights and partial copyright to)
  • The library of theatrical films owned by CBS (such as The African Queen [originally released through United Artists], those produced by Cinema Center Films, and several features produced in the 1980s that were originally distributed theatrically by Warner Bros.)
    • Until 2009, the only exception was My Fair Lady, whose video rights were controlled by WB, though a VHS edition was released by Paramount. CBS/Paramount regained video rights in 2009.

CBS Corp. formed CBS Home Entertainment as a new home entertainment arm in 2007. However, PHE continues to distribute CBS DVDs as of 2008.

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Criticism

The company has been criticized by many for being unwilling to secure music rights for DVD, something that its predecessor, Paramount Home Entertainment (which still distributes the library on DVD), was usually willing to do, even going so far as to replace the entire musical scores on episodes of The Fugitive and My Three Sons. Many episodes of The Odd Couple have appeared in edited form on CBS DVD releases (Seasons 2-5) even going as far as starting episodes in the middle of a scene just to avoid securing music rights.

On the other hand, such series as Star Trek and Bonanza have been issued on CBS DVD uncut in their original telecast versions, complete with all the original music as broadcast.

External links


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