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Sears Inks Deals For RCA, RoxioNow

6/22/2010 12:12:04 PM Eastern
Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Sears Holdings, owner of the Sears and Kmart retail chains, said Tuesday it has reached an agreement making Sears and Kmart the exclusive retailers of select new lines of RCA-branded LCD TVs. The deal was reached with On Corp., which became the licensee for the RCA-branded TVs in the U.S. earlier this year.

In another move, Sears Holdings said it will partner with Sonic Solutions, giving Sears and Kmart their own Powered By RoxioNow streaming digital entertainment storefronts on a range of connected devices. The service is expected to launch by the end of the year.

On Corp., which has licensed the Proscan brand from Technicolor (formerly known as Thomson) for TVs for several years, also became a licensee for the RCA brand for TVs in the U.S. in a deal reached with RCA Trademark Management SAS, a unit of Technicolor, earlier this year, according to an observer familiar with the deal.

It was last licensed by TTE -- a subsidiary of China's TCL.

Through the relationship with Sears and Kmart, the sister retail chains will offer their customers an exclusive RCA product lineup featuring high-definition televisions 19 inches and larger. It will be the second major brand exclusive for the company, since it signed on to carry Zenith-branded TVs exclusively about a year ago. Sears uses Zenith primarily as a plasma TV line, where RCA will be used for LCD TVs.

 "For more than 90 years, RCA has been a trusted name in American households," Karen Austin, Sears Holdings home electronics president, said in a statement announcing the deal.

"Offering such a respected and approachable brand furthers our commitment to provide our savvy shoppers with not only unique products that they won't find at other retailers, but also with the exceptional quality and unbeatable value that they have come to know and expect from both Sears and Kmart," she continued.

The RCA TV models that will be available "in select Sears and Kmart stores, as well as online at www.sears.com or www.kmart.com, include the following:"

  *  RCA 19-inch 720p LCD TV; reg. price $199;

  *  RCA 22-inch 1080p LCD TV; reg. price $269;

  *  RCA 32-inch 720p LCD TV; reg. price $399;

  * RCA 40-inch 1080p LCD TV; reg. price  $569;

  * RCA 46-inch 1080p LCD TV; reg. price $799; and

  * RCA 42-inch 1080p LED 120 Hz; reg. price $999.

The Sears Holdings store chains also have exclusive distribution arrangements on RCA LCD HDTV/DVD combos, including the following:

  * RCA 22-inch 1080p LCD HDTV/DVD Combo; reg. price $299;

  * RCA 26-inch 720p LCD HDTV/DVD Combo; reg. price $369; and

  * RCA 32-inch 720p LCD HDTV/DVD Combo; reg. price $439.

Sonic Solutions said Tuesday that Sears and Kmart have signed on as storefront partners for its online entertainment distribution platform.

Under the deal, Sears, which owns both the Sears and Kmart mass-merchant chains, will begin offering streaming digital movies and TV shows under the AlphaLine Powered by RoxioNow brand online through a host of connected devices, including TVs, PCs, mobile entertainment devices and Blu-ray Disc players.

Sears said the service will be placed on select products from LG Electronics, Panasonic, RCA, Samsung, Sharp and Sony, and the first products are expected before the holiday selling season.

"Teaming up with Sonic is a great opportunity for Sears and Kmart to quickly establish a position in digital video entertainment, and offer another great service to our customers," stated Austin. "With direct access to so many movies and TV shows from a broad range of devices, our customers will have the ability to obtain the latest high-quality entertainment virtually anywhere, anytime."

  Sonic Solutions, which previously focused on disc-burning-based applications for entertainment, has shifted its focus to digital delivery in recent years. The company already works with Best Buy, Blockbuster and Zip.ca, a Canadian online DVD service to provide Powered By RoxioNow digital entertainment storefronts carrying the retailers' respective brands.

 Earlier this month, Sonic Solutions agreed to buy digital video technology firm DivX for about $300 million, and said it will provide a Powered By RoxioNow service for the forthcoming Boxee Internet bridge device, expected to launch this year.

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