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Clear Channel in New Arena with Music DVDs

Los Angeles – In a natural extension of its live-event business, Clear Channel Entertainment is moving into the music DVD market this spring.

Clear Channel Entertainment Television, a division of CCE, has signed a multiyear DVD distribution deal with Ventura Distribution. Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Ventura handles more than 60 home video product lines and has special-content units focusing on urban, family/pop and Latino titles.

Ventura will release at least 12 music DVDs, culled from CCE concerts, in the next two years. All projects will be filmed in high-definition video and include extra features.

The first title, “Produced by Trevor Horn: The Best of the ’80s,” is due this spring and will feature Yes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and the Pet Shop Boys. Other projects are being negotiated.

“We want to be a player in the DVD market,” CCETV president Joe Townley says. “DVD will be one of the company’s largest growth areas this year. In 2005, we will exploit the ownership side of things on lots of levels. This music deal is the first one in place.”

Ventura executive VP and general manager Jim Weatherson says his company is “giddy” to be partnering with “the No. 1 strength in so many media areas. We can put together a lot of marketing options. It’s endless, the things we can do.”

Ventura will work closely with its retail partners – mass merchants, traditional music retailers, mom-and-pop stores – to market the titles, while CCE will promote them through the Internet, event tickets and venue advertising.

CCE plans to expand its DVD offerings beyond the music category in the coming year and may extend the distribution relationship with Ventura, according to both companies.

CCE is negotiating a deal to release Broadway DVD titles and is looking to release theater, comedy, children’s and sports titles produced from the more than 32,000 events it promotes annually.

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