US independent music andhome entertainment distributor Koch Entertainment Distribution is stepping upits DVD operation with the announcement that it has signed an exclusive deal todistribute Passport Video's entire catalogue in the US and Canada.

Passport Video'slibrary comprises mostly documentaries and entertainment specials and includesnew releases and reissues of the five-DVD Collectors Sets The Beatles - ALong And Winding Road and TheRolling Stones - Just For The Record.

Recent releases also includeElvis - The Definitive Collection Revised, which runs to 16 hours, and Kiss - Live In Vegas.

California-based PassportVideo is a division of Passport International Productions. It owns around 3,000feature films, 90 years of news libraries and interviews with more than 2,000celebrities and high-profile personalities.

'Koch's continuedgrowth is testimony to their outstanding sales, marketing and distributioncapabilities in the expanding DVD marketplace,' Herb Dorfman, presidentof Passport Video, said in a statement. 'Passport Video's unique videoprogramming will be a great fit with the Koch distributed labels and theirorganisation.'

'Passport Video'shigh-profile line of entertainment programs and documentaries broadens ourselection of quality DVD product in this expanding market and is a perfect fitfor us,' Michael Rosenberg, president of Koch Entertainment Distribution,added.

Koch recentlyannounced with Richard Lorber the launch of Koch Lorber Films, a new US DVDlabel catering to world cinema, independent documentaries, music and theperforming arts (Screendaily, Feb 14).

The company isdue to begin operating in the second quarter of the year and plans to release20-24 titles each year.