Companies partner to launch new high definition channel – MGM HD
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and BSkyB (Sky) have launched a new channel today, MGM HD, devoted exclusively to the delivery of movies in high-definition (HD).
The channel, a 50/50 joint venture between Sky and MGM, showcases handpicked selections from the MGM library, with all titles broadcasting in true HD.
For MGM, the launch marks a milestone for the studio. MGM-HD will be the first branded channel for the studio in the UK. The agreement also completes an important step in extending the reach of the MGM channels enterprise, which is now available in over 130 countries across more than 20 separate branded networks broadcasting in nearly two dozen languages. Among the latest MGM channel launches are high definition channels in the US, Latin America, Poland and Israel.
In the UK, the channel features a full program schedule, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and showcases HD re-mastered movies from the MGM library, including an unparalleled range of titles and genres stretching back from recent years to renowned movie classics. Highlights in the coming months include films from The Pink Panther series, Woody Allen masterpieces such as Annie Hall and Manhattan, The Apartment, Network, The Russia House, Tom Jones, Moonstruck and The Fortune Cookie, along with many other cinematic greats.
MGM HD launched on the Sky platform on channel number 345, becoming the 37th HD channel available to Sky+HD homes. To view MGM HD, Sky customers need to subscribe to Dual Movies and the HD pack. Alternatively, the channel is available on an a la carte basis for £5 per month. The channel is available to Sky customers in both the UK and Ireland.
The new channel complements the existing relationship between MGM and Sky for the provision of titles to the Sky Movies channels. In addition to those HD movies already available through Sky Movies, the new channel offers customers the chance to see the full range of classic library titles from MGM in HD, many for the first time.
Bruce Tuchman, President, MGM Worldwide Networks, comments: “We are pleased to be partnering with Sky on MGM's first branded channel to launch in the UK. As it's the best way to experience feature films, MGM anticipated the popularity of high definition and has been committed to re-mastering many of the great MGM movies in HD for some time. MGM has the world’s largest modern film library, packed with great blockbuster titles and renowned classics alike. Now, thanks to Sky, we can deliver all of that quality entertainment content in HD.”
Mike Darcey, Sky's Chief Operating Officer, adds: "This new joint venture demonstrates our on-going commitment to investing in high-quality HD content for our customers. Offering a range of classic MGM movies, some for the very first time, this new channel joins an already impressive HD movie offering on Sky. It also means that customers can enjoy more classic movies the way they deserve to be seen, in stunning HD."
Sky Movies currently offers ten dedicated HD channels which between them show around 600 individual HD movies per month, twice the number of movies shown in standard definition by the terrestrial broadcasters combined. Today Sky+HD customers can watch 37 HD channels from leading brands such as Sky Movies, Sky Sports, Channel 4, Disney, MTV, BBC, Discovery, ESPN, FX, Sky1 and National Geographic. Sky+HD customers can choose up to 430 hours a day - or 13,000 hours a month - of quality HD content.
Sky launched the UK’s first national HD service in May 2006 which has since become Europe’s most successful HD service. As of 30 September 2009, the total number of Sky+HD customers stood at 1.6m.
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 4,100 titles.
Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Domestic Networks LLC, MGM Distribution Co, MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 130 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
Sky operates the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform television service in the UK and Ireland. Over 9.5 million homes enjoy an unprecedented choice of movies, news, entertainment and sports channels. Sky continues to break new ground with its own portfolio of channels: Sky1 combines its commitment to UK production with the best of the US; Sky Arts continues to embrace new audiences as the UK’s only dedicated arts channel brand; Sky Sports is still raising the bar in sports broadcasting; and Sky News remains a pioneer in multiplatform television news.
Around 6 million Sky homes now enjoy the control and flexibility of Sky+ and 1.6 million homes have already joined Sky+HD, which provides access to 37 dedicated HD channels. Sky is also the UK’s fastest growing broadband and fixed-telephony provider.
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