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Lisa Telford joins StudioCanal

Co.'s international video sales grew 20% in '08

MADRID — Gallic producer/distributor StudioCanal has tapped former Warner Bros. exec Lisa Telford as its exec VP of international home entertainment.

Reporting to Rodolphe Buet, exec. VP intl. distribution, Telford is charged with developing StudioCanal’s international vid biz, playing off StudioCanal’s library, which numbers some 5,000 Gallic, British and U.S. titles.

Given market conditions, that could be a tall order. Telford’s appointment comes just after DVD retail consumer sales plunged 7.5% last year in StudioCanal’s domestic French market to Euros 1.38 billion ($1.8 billion), according to just-released stats from research company Gfk and media consultants NPA Conseil.

That’s only slightly better than Western Europe consumer spending — both retail and rental — which dived 9.6% to $13.0 billion, according to research company Screen Digest.

But StudioCanal’s international video sales grew 20% in 2008, according to Buet, and StudioCanal expects double-digit growth in 2009.

Various factors are at play, Buet said: a vast library allowing StudioCanal to ring its options on pricing, collectors’ editions, and special packages; burgeoning Internet sales from sites such as Amazon; climbing Blu-ray sales, which StudioCanal can exploit with rights to “Terminator” and “Rocky” movies; and StudioCanal’s home entertainment distribution partnership with Universal.

Telford served at Warner Bros. Ent. from 2006 as VP category management and retail strategy, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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