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Col TriStar Ent. gallops off

Homevid division finally gets parent Sony's moniker

Sony’s video division will finally get a brand that has global familiarity: Sony.

The studio’s homevideo division never changed its name, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, to reflect the corporate owner. Sony Corp. stamped its brand long ago on the Sony Pictures Entertainment film division of which the video division is a part.

With the release of “Spider-Man 2” on DVD Nov. 30 all that changes, as the new logo and name — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment — get stamped on the packaging for the first time.

While acknowledging that with the exception of Disney, few studio names actually influence consumer film choices, SPHE president Ben Feingold noted that Sony is an established global entertainment brand for film, videogames and consumer electronics.

All DVD sets released after the end of 2004 will come with the new SPHE design. A fresh animated logo will be included in DVDs’ pre-show credits after the first part of 2005.

“As the home entertainment group celebrates its 25th anniversary … it seems timely and fitting to now add the Sony brand to our divisional name,” Feingold added. The studio is poised for one of its biggest fourth quarters ever with “Spider-Man 2,” “Seinfeld,” “Fahrenheit 9/11” and many others.

Founded in 1979 as Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment, the video division’s name has been changed several times, including the moniker RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video.

The name change will not impact the separate brand of MGM Home Entertainment, which is being acquired by Sony.

(Susanne Ault is a reporter for Variety sister publication DVD Exclusive).

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