More than 100 people participated in the Los Angeles Media and Entertainment Golf Tournament July 15 at the Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif., honoring a “foursome” of industry legends and raising nearly $80,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Warren Lieberfarb, David Bishop, Steve Nickerson and Mike Fidler were honored for their contributions to DVD, which triggered the start of home entertainment’s digital revolution. The event was organized by Mark Horak, a former executive with Warner Bros. Entertainment Group and Redbox, and is a precursor to the Los Angeles Entertainment Summit, which starts July 16.
Lieberfarb is the former president of Warner Home Video who has been widely hailed as the “father” of DVD. Bishop is the former president of both MGM Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; he was a leader in driving catalog DVD sales, one of of the format’s big growth engines. Nickerson is the former Toshiba executive who pushed DVD from the consumer electronics hardware side; he was later hired by Lieberfarb at Warner. And Fidler is the former Sony Electronics executive who drove DVD’s marketing; he is currently president of the UHD Alliance.
All four played key roles in the launch of DVD, which shifted home entertainment from a rental to a purchase model and introduced digital into what had been an analog business. DVD subsequently gave way to Blu-ray Disc, which opened the door to digital movie sales and rentals through the inclusion of a digital copy with each purchased disc. DVD generated millions of dollars of revenue to studios, becoming an important factor in greenlighting films.