It’s not exactly a household name like Sony or Panasonic, but audio and video device maker Thomson has announced it is getting out of the consumer audio/video and accessories business entirely. Thomson will be selling its AV business outside Europe to Audiovox Corporation (the same firm which now owns Jensen, Advent, Acoustic Research, and RCA), while shuttering its European AV business—with the possible exception of its Skymaster business in Germany, which the company is actively looking to sell. The Audiovox sale should be completed by the end of 2007; at the beginning of the year, Audiovox bought Thomsons’s US/ROW accessories business, including rights to use the RCA brand name. While providing high-end equipment and services to film studios, distributors, broadcasters, and other professionals, Thomson has also offered a range of home audio, video, and telephony gear to consumers under its own brand.
Thomson’s new business will be all about digital film and video distribution: the company has already announced a long-term deal with Overture Films to provide film lab and cinema distribution services for the studio. Overture is backed by Liberty Media and Starz, LLC., and has several high-profile theatrical releases scheduled for 2008; Thomson will provide services like 35mm trailer and release printing and front-end negative processing, along with film distribution, security screening, publicity services, and film archiving and restoration services.