MGM launches channel into eastern Europe, Asia

MIP NEWS: Sony- and Comcast-backed MGM Networks has used the Cannes market to announce deals that will see its movie channel roll further into Europe, India and the Far East.

With Chellomedia, a division of Liberty Global, MGM has forged a 50:50 joint-venture to distribute MGM Channel on cable and DTH systems throughout central and eastern Europe.

The alliance will see MGM Channel first launching in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary by Q4 of this year. Plans are also under way to roll out the service in Romania and Slovenia by spring 2007.

"The MGM name carries with it a legacy of top-quality movies," commented Shane O'Neill, president of Chellomedia and chief strategy officer of Liberty Global. The MGM Channel will be dubbed into the local languages of each of these markets.

Elsewhere, MGM Channel will roll out in India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, after carriage deals with Zee’s Dish TV platform in India, Sky Cable in the Philippines, Ho Chi Minh City TV and Phnom Penh Municipal Cable.

The launch of the channel in India brings to an end a co-branded joint-venture network that MGM had with Zee TV in favour of a fully-owned, exclusively MGM-branded network.

Since launching in South Korea in 2002, MGM Channel has since launched in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. A second MGM channel has started in South Korea, called MGM Plus.

“Over the last five years, MGM has increased its channel interests from approximately 25 countries and territories in a handful of regions to over 110 across Europe, Latin American, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim,” said Bruce Tuchman, exec VP of MGM Networks.

Ed Waller
5 Apr 2006
© C21 Media 2006

MGM Networks and Liberty Global's chellomedia Enter Into Joint Venture

CANNES, France, April 5 /PRNewswire/ --

- Ground-Breaking Partnership to Launch The MGM Channel on Cable and DTH Systems in Local Languages Throughout Central and Eastern Europe

Global movie channel provider, MGM Networks, a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., and chellomedia, a division of Liberty Global, have announced that they have joined forces to roll out The MGM Channel throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies plan to form a 50-50 joint venture, which will be focused on the distribution of The MGM Channel on cable and DTH systems throughout the region. The announcement was made today by Bruce Tuchman, Executive Vice President, MGM Networks, and Shane O'Neill, President, chellomedia.

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"By partnering with chellomedia and Liberty Global, we are in the unique and advantageous position of being aligned with the largest broadband cable and DTH operator in the region by far," said Tuchman. "With the unparalleled leadership position of our partners in Central and Eastern Europe, we anticipate that The MGM Channel will rapidly become a household name there and enjoy widespread analog and digital carriage from launch."

"This joint venture represents a unique opportunity to strengthen our programming activities in Central and Eastern Europe," said Shane O'Neill, President of chellomedia and Chief Strategy Officer of Liberty Global. "The MGM name carries with it a legacy of top-quality movies and we are very pleased to be associated with the brand. This deal will add to chellomedia's portfolio of channels and builds on the strength in channel distribution that we have, while it also recognizes our play out capabilities to clients in this part of Europe. We are sure that this channel will be a valuable addition to the line up of the major operators in the region."

Under the new joint venture, The MGM Channel will first launch in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary by fourth quarter of this year. In addition, plans are under way to roll out the service in Romania and Slovenia by Spring 2007. The MGM Channel will be customized into the local languages of each of these regions.

Customized versions of The MGM Channel are currently available in over 110 countries and territories around the world.

About MGM Networks

MGM Networks manages Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.'s interests in MGM-branded networks, Hollywood film studio joint venture channels and other programming services spanning markets across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Oceana and Africa. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising approximately 4,000 titles, and over 10,400 episodes of television programming. Its film library has received 208 Academy Awards, one of the largest award-winning collections in the world, and includes numerous successful film franchises, including "James Bond," "Pink Panther" and "Rocky." MGM is owned by an investor consortium comprised of Sony Corporation of America, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Comcast Corporation and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. For more information, visit

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,000 titles. Operating units including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. Under the supervision of new Chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, MGM is revitalizing all areas of the company. As a result, the studio is now being positioned as an independent, vertical integrated multi-media company. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit

About chellomedia

chellomedia, is the European based content division of Liberty Global and a leading international distributor of channels, content and video services. It currently owns and distributes 14 branded TV channels, On Demand and Interactive Services internationally as well a portfolio of Media Investments. Its operating companies and business units comprise: global thematic channels (Extreme Sports Channel, the channels of Zone Vision Networks), regionally focused channels (chellomedia Iberia (Multicanal), chellomedia Benelux and chellomedia Central Europe) and services and investments (chellomedia on demand, chellomedia Interactive Services and chellomedia Investments). chellomedia's main operations are based in London, Amsterdam and Madrid.

About Liberty Global, Inc.

Liberty Global, Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTYA, LBTYB, LBTYK) is the leading international cable operator offering advanced video, voice, and Internet-access services to connect our 15 million customers to the world of information, communications and entertainment. The Company operates state-of-the-art broadband communications networks in 19 countries principally located in Europe, Japan, Chile, and Australia. Liberty Global's operations also include significant media and programming businesses such as Jupiter TV in Japan and chellomedia in Europe.

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