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Warner announces JV with China Audio Video

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MUMBAI: Warner Home Video has made major progress in China. The company has announced the historic formation of CAV Warner Home Entertainment.

The joint venture with China Audio Video makes Warner Bros. the first US studio to establish an in-country DVD/VCD distribution and marketing operation in China. Based in Shanghai, CAV Warner Home Entertainment has officially launched operations.

The announcement follows extensive analysis by Warner Home Video of the dynamic Chinese home video market and its potential for continued growth. As a result of this research, Warner Home Video chose to partner with China Audio Video to capitalise on China's enormous consumer demand, which is projected to exceed one billion units this year and includes a growing appetite for legitimate alternatives to poor quality pirated goods.

As a precursor to the full-scale nationwide rollout for CAV Warner Home Entertainment, China's foremost retail and video outlets including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Xinhua Book Store, Carrefour, R.T. Mart and Maya began carrying select new releases in November, including Troy, The Last Samurai and three NBA titles. These titles debuted in key cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Nanjing.

By the end of the third quarter of the year, CAV Warner Home Entertainment's nationwide market introduction will be completed and its products will be available throughout China. Warner Home Video president Jim Cardwell said, "Warner Home Video operates the largest global video distribution system in the world. China has been an important market for years, but too often Chinese consumers have had to choose inferior products on the illegitimate market that were available sooner but with poor quality. CAV Warner Home Video is committed to creating a better consumer experience and increased demand for legitimate products via world-class quality, reduced pricing, Mandarin dubbing and sub-titles, enhanced content and shortened release windows."

China Audio and Video Publishing House (CAV) president Wang Xiaoran also will be the president of the JV. He says, "The potential for legitimate sales in China is extraordinary. We hope to solidify the legitimate home video market in China and while we have made great progress to date we have much work to do in the future. However, the combination of Warner Home Video's expertise and our relationships and infrastructure will make CAV Warner Home Entertainment an unparalleled force in China's home entertainment market."

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