Sony Pictures Home Entertainment restructures for the digital age

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has announced a reorganisation to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital era. New appointments and promotions have been made.

David Bishop will oversee SPHE's North American business and Matt Brown will oversee SPHE's European business. Sean Carey will head SPHE's digital distribution business.

Explaining the strategy behind the move, SPHE president of Worldwide Home Entertainment, digital distribution and acquisitions Benjamin S. Feingold says, "This month, we started selling movies through digital downloads over the Internet, and next month, we begin to sell Blu-ray Discs for the very first time.

"With the digital market poised for growth, now is the time for us to organise ourselves to reap the full benefits of this new era, and to maintain and expand our leadership position in the home entertainment market."

Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton says, "The changes in technology and consumer interests demand that we be innovative and visionary in our approach to home entertainment. The digital market has evolved to the point where it has earned its own place in our home entertainment business. Digital distribution and high definition have evolved from a theoretical concept to a new retail business, and that's why we're making the strategic moves necessary to ensure that we aggressively market this business in the months and years ahead.

"And it all begins with people -- putting the right people in the right place at the right time." Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Pictures Group chairman Amy Pascal says, "While nothing can replace the theatrical experience, we want people to have the opportunity to see our movies in their homes or wherever they desire. That is true for our new films as well as the tremendous stories and performances that exist in our extensive library."

Bishop had been Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) president of worldwide brand integration. He will now oversee all aspects of the North American business including sales, marketing, and operations. He will also have an integral role in the international operations of the MGM catalogue.

Feingold stated, "With the MGM transition nearing completion, I am delighted that David has decided to remain with our company. His strong reputation within the home entertainment industry, as well as his outstanding executive skills, will help to insure the ongoing success and growth of our core business. David's experience with MGM product will also be a great benefit to the division."

Bishop says, "I am thrilled to be at SPHE because this is one of the most exciting and dynamic times in the history of home entertainment. I also look forward to working with Ben and the whole team as we focus on the growth of our core business and explore the new options given to us by the
digital revolution."

Brown, meanwhile, will be based in London and will oversee all aspects of the European business, including sales, marketing and management. Brown will help create and execute strategic business plans for SPHE's growth throughout Europe, especially in light of the proliferation of new digital technologies in the region. He earlier was SPHE senior VP worldwide franchise properties.

Carey will focus on two areas. First, developing and managing the North American distribution of movies and other SPE content via the internet as well to mobile devices such as cell phones and PSPs. In that regard, he will also work closely with Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television International. He will also will oversee all business aspects of SPHE's production and acquisition group, as well as negotiate key acquisition agreements.

Feingold adds, "We are at the dawn of a new age in home entertainment. Digital technology, combined with the increasing sophistication and mobility of devices on which content can be stored and played, opens up a whole new world for us and for consumers. By reorganizing our home entertainment division now, we are positioning ourselves to deliver entertainment to people wherever, whenever and however they want to enjoy it."

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