Col TriStar, Henson ink vid pact

Jim Henson Home Entertainment banner created

HOLLYWOOD — In a move that will significantly raise Columbia TriStar Home Video’s profile in the family fare marketplace, the company has pacted with the Jim Henson Co. to distrib the latter’s film and TV products on homevideo. The deal covers the U.S. and select international territories.

Under the terms of the deal, CTHV will create a Jim Henson Home Entertainment banner, which will bow original film and TV programming as well as catalog offerings on video, laser and DVD.

Previously, Henson’s homevideo products were distributed through Buena Vista Home Video, the video outlet for the Walt Disney Co. That deal expired at the end of last year.

The move to CTHV reflects the shifting by Henson execs to put all of its production action under one banner.

Henson inked a feature production pact with Sony Pictures in 1996. Col TriStar’s vid execs had pursued Henson for several years, and the ending of the Disney pact provided the dealmaking window they sought.

Benjamin Feingold, prexy of CTHV, called Henson “the epitome of creativity and quality in the family entertainment category.”

Margaret Loesch, prexy of the Jim Henson Television Group, will oversee the operation of the vid banner.