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CED: Setting the Benchmark

Ray Lomas
If an adult-movie producer were to ask a peer, “Hey, how do I get my adult movies on cable?” the answer would be simple enough: “Go call Marc Bruder over at CED.”

Bruder is the president, founder and owner of CED (Cable Entertainment Distribution), the leading adult program supplier to broadcast systems around the world.

Indeed, if an adult company makes a triple-X movie, Bruder and his CED team have the capability of getting that movie broadcast in just about any part of the globe. Specializing in broadcast licensing, CED provides adult programming to broadcast clients in Israel, the Netherlands, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, parts of Asia — heck, just name the geographical location and CED has output deals there.

An affable, 50-something businessman originally from Sherman Oaks, Calif., Bruder started CED back in 1985 and is about to celebrate his 25th year in the broadcast licensing business.

For the record, Bruder also is the president/founder/owner of BRI (Bruder Releasing, Inc.), a non-adult, mainstream-release distribution company handling everything from kids movies to slasher titles.

We recently caught up with the ever-busy yet infinitely gracious Bruder at his comfortable Santa Monica offices and had a lengthy chat (this is, in fact, the first of our two part interview) with him about both CED and his own personal story.

XBIZ: First off, Marc, please explain the difference a bit more between your two companies: CED and BRI.
MARC BRUDER: Sure. Well, BRI is a general release distribution company that deals with mainstream movies and events, children’s programming, family movies; sci-fi, shock, thriller, drama, action, erotic movies which are R-rated and can play on HBO or Cinemax or the Showtime movie channel. BRI mostly deals with general release programming from independent production companies, not studios like Paramount or Warner Bros. We represent a lot of the independent companies — Pop Cinema, Shock-O-Rama — “Kinky Kong,” for example, recently went on HBO, as well as “Prison A Go-Go” and a lot of other B-movies from Shock-O-Rama. Cheesy Flicks is another company that we represent, as well as Brooklyn Bros. who also make a lot of shock and sci-fi titles, as well as Damage Films from Darin Ramage. Additionally, we worked with Charlie Band at Full Moon and did all of the “Puppet Master” and “Subspecies” movies pay-per-view and cable licensing in the U.S.

XBIZ: And, of course, let’s talk a little more about the various functions of CED.
BRUDER: Absolutely! CED is an adult-distribution company, primarily to broadcast systems, channels and networks worldwide. It deals with every form of broadcast, from cable, DTH (Direct-To-Home), satellite delivered, VOD platform systems, Internet, mobile, cable hand-held device, IPTV, lodging networks. And for over 25 years it’s been considered one of the leading program suppliers of adult content to broadcast companies worldwide.

XBIZ: In other words, you’re the middleman between the adult-film production companies and the broadcasters.
BRUDER: Exactly. We started out just representing producers’ products and getting them broadcast deals and licensing rights around the world; in turn, all the producers had to do was worry about their retail DVD activities and their productions, while we took care of their broadcast rights.

That’s how we started.

And we’re still basically doing that service.

But it’s grown a great deal now, to where our relationships with programmers have contractual obligations where we must deliver so many movies each month to their schedule. And some of these adult channels that the broadcasters have under their umbrella of multi-system operations are adult, with CED being the exclusive adult-content supplier to many of these adult channels.

XBIZ: What about your relationship with the Playboy and the Spice Channels?
BRUDER: Well, our strongest relationship for satellite rights worldwide, by far, is with Playboy. CED is one of the largest program suppliers of adult and erotic content to the Spice and Playboy Channels, all owned by Playboy. Just as some examples, we help them fill out their program schedules with titles from such adult companies as Kick Ass, New Sensations … there are over 100 companies from which to choose. And the reason why CED has this position in the marketplace is because we’re not Wicked, we’re not Adam & Eve, we’re not Digital Playground. The reason why we’re here is because we are all of those companies and many more depending on the broadcast system and territory.

So, if a programmer says to us, “Gee, I need a variety to fill out my schedule. For my gay block I need this, this, this. For my straight block, I need some gonzo, a teen movie, a reality title, a parody movie…” CED is one of the only companies — if not the only company — still around that can tap into every one of the studios and producers and adult content suppliers world-wide — including Japanese hentai adult animation from Asia — and bring those requested titles to the programmer so that he doesn’t have to call 100 people to get 100 movies. He calls one company — CED — and gets his 100 movies.

XBIZ: So does CED then receive two checks, one from the production companies and one from the program broadcasters?
BRUDER: No. We only receive a check from the broadcasters, and then we remit to the producer. We’re the producer’s agent, whereby the producer receives the lion’s share of the royalty, and we take a small distribution fee.

XBIZ: Your title at both companies is president and CEO?
BRUDER: Yes. Alex is the general manager of CED, and Celena is director of corporate affairs for CED and vice president of BRI. They also own a percentage of those companies, so I guess they’re partners of mine in a limited way but with major decisionmaking authority. But I consider them very full partners because they basically run these companies. And talk about loyalty, honesty, trust, ethics, I couldn’t have designed better family members to come in here and help me run these businesses than what they’ve done. And their staff is just incredibly efficient in terms of meeting their needs.

XBIZ: So how did you, Marc Bruder, fall into the whole adult movie business?
BRUDER: In 1980, I was working as a broadcaster here in Los Angeles through a cable operator that had corporate affiliations with Playgirl Magazine and other erotic production entities, and they were looking for programming that was erotic oriented — but not adult, not hardcore XXX.

And there was nothing available.

Well, I’d already worked for organizations that dealt with broadcasters such as On TV and The Z Channel and some of the other Time-Warner Cable, Rodgers Cable, Times Mirror Cable, etc. across the country from my days at Columbia, in the very early ‘80s, doing ancillary cable, pay-per-view distribution. And I worked at Playgirl Magazine running Twin Arts Productions (the production arm of Playgirl) before the current owner — of about 25 years — and we were producing Playgirl material on the air, which was extremely erotic programming. And since we were using a lot of talented moviemakers from the adult industry in the San Fernando Valley, I knew a lot of those guys.

Now, since the broadcaster I was working for at that time was looking for, again, erotic but not adult content, I went over to some of these adult producers in the Valley and explained to them that we needed what we had termed “cable-version adult” — in other words, movies which showed no genitals, no insertion, no climax scenes. I also said that we needed them to take one of their 90-minute adult movies and bring it way down to 48 to 50 minutes. All simulated sex. A little bit of story line. And, again, no genitals, insertion or climax. And we were starting to air these erotic, soft-core titles late at night on different MSO’s and cable operators across the country on a local origination basis; that became satellite-delivered and the stand-alone systems, of which there still are a few. And then our movies, instead of just taking them directly to the cable operators, went on the Playboy and Spice services.

XBIZ: And both CED and BRI came into existence around this time, which was in the mid ‘80s, right?
BRUDER: Right. In 1985, I started BRI and CED here in southern California. Since my experience was with the beginning launches of cable systems and pay-per-view programming, along with relationships to adult producers and studios, hey, it seemed a natural fit to combine and connect the cable pay-per-view MSO operators with the adult manufacturers — again, at that time only “cable-version” soft titles were allowed to be exhibited. We’ve obviously come a long way since then. And when the Playboy and Spice channels merged in 1990, Playboy-Spice became one entity, and CED has had an output deal with them since that time.

XBIZ: How many people around the world see the programs or adult titles which you license out through CED?
BRUDER: Today, our programming, for the producers whom we represent, gets to almost 90 million people worldwide. For the past 25 years, almost every major studio has, at one time or another, gone through CED to get into either Playboy or any other satellite or lodging systems, including every studio, producer and brand in our industry from Arrow to Vivid, from Hustler to Digital Playground, as well as Caballero, Metro, Smash, Wildlife, Penthouse, Dorcel, Pink Visual, Red Light District, Adam & Eve, Coast To Coast, Zero Tolerance, Pure Play and all the other fine brands and studios.

XBIZ: How exactly do people find out about you?
BRUDER: It’s a very small community in terms of adult. We show up at every adult market and convention, as well as the broadcasting and cable industry confabs. But usually people find out about us through word of mouth.

XBIZ: Or through trade journal interviews.
BRUDER: (laughs) Right! But we’ve basically known everybody forever. When cable operators watch network programming, they say, “Geez, look at that channel. How did they get those adult movies?” Well, if they call the operator or do any kind of research, they’ll find the CED logo on all of those movies.

XBIZ: And what about BRI?
BRUDER: Very similar. With BRI, we’ll go to the American Film Market, Cannes Film Festival, and the major MIP-TV markets around the world. With adult, we’ll go to the same major markets: the Venus Berlin show, MIP-TV in Cannes and, of course, AEE in Vegas. So between Berlin and Vegas, the whole world is pretty much in attendance. Content is, therefore, not a problem. We’re releasing 300 titles a month. Nobody can house that many titles, unless you’re a VOD system or an online system.

Join us next month for Part 2 of our interview with Marc Bruder in which he candidly discusses the worldwide appetite for porn; technological solutions to successfully combat piracy; and how both his naval service as a mine expert in the Vietnam War and his work as an L.A. probation officer helped mold his positive outlook on both business and life.

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