RCA is an American trademark brand owned by Technicolor SA, which is used on products made by that company as well as Audiovox, ON Corporation and Sony Music Entertainment. RCA stood for Radio Corporation of America, a company which later became RCA Corporation which was taken over by General Electric in 1986 and then split up.
At present, the RCA trademark is owned by Technicolor SA (known as Thomson SA until January 2010) through RCA Trademark Management S.A. Though it generally no longer uses the brand directly (either it or General Electric sold off virtually all the businesses that used it), Technicolor SA licenses the RCA name to other companies to use on products along 10 different product lines:
- RCA Records (including RCA Victor): now licensed to Sony Music Entertainment, which received both record labels from BMG through their former joint venture Sony BMG (2004–08). BMG purchased the labels directly from GE in 1986, together with a perpetual license to use RCA's brands (including RCA's interest in the His Master's Voice trademark, better known in the Americas as Nipper) for both labels. As a perpetual license, it has survived both GE's sale of the brand to Thomson and BMG's transfer of the labels to Sony BMG and Sony Music.
- RCA Telephones: Formerly manufactured by Thomson SA, sold in 2009 to Telefield North America
- RCA Audio/Video: Manufactured by Audiovox, produces RCA DVD players, video cassette recorders, direct broadcast satellite decoders, camcorders, and audio equipment. (link on Audiovox website)
- RCA Accessories: Manufactured by Audiovox, produces Audio and video connectors, remote controls, keyboards, mice and television antennas.
- RCA Televisions: Manufactured by ON Corporation
- RCA Car Stereo: Also known as RCA Mobile
- RCA Appliances: Produces RCA Microwaves, fridges, and ranges marketed by Curtis International Ltd. (Canada)
- RCA Computers: Produces RCA Computers marketed by American Future Technology Corporation
- RCA Computer Tablets: Produces RCA tablets marketed by Venturer Electronics.
- RCA Projectors: Manufactured by Telefield
- RCA Digital TV Box: Produces RCA Set-top Boxes marketed by Search Commercial Inc. (Philippines).
BMG (for the record labels) and Thomson (for the remaining businesses) bought those assets from General Electric, which took over the RCA conglomerate in 1986 and kept RCA's NBC broadcast television interests (GE sold off the NBC Radio Network and the NBC-owned radio stations). Initially, GE continued to control the RCA trademarks (including the rights to the His Master's Voice trademark and the dog Nipper) which were then licensed to Thomson and Bertelsmann. Thomson eventually bought the RCA trademarks in 2003 subject to the perpetual license GE had issued to BMG.
In December 2006, Thomson SA agreed to sell its consumer electronics accessory business, including rights to use the RCA name for consumer electronic accessories, to Audiovox
On October 16, 2007, Thomson SA agreed to sell its consumer electronics audio video business outside Europe including the worldwide rights to the RCA Brand for consumer electronics audio video products
In April 2010, ON Corporation took over distribution of RCA branded TVs.
Bertelsmann AG was new to the RCA family (though the creation of Sony BMG is similar to that of EMI more than 70 years earlier). Sony took full ownership of Sony BMG in 2008 and the record company was renamed Sony Music. Thomson started as the French subsidiary of Thomson-Houston Electric, a company which later evolved into General Electric.
In the mid-1990s, RCA bought the naming rights to the Hoosier Dome (the original home of the Indianapolis Colts). The stadium became the RCA Dome and was known as such until it was demolished in December 2008, as part of a project to expand the attached convention center.
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