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MGM Readies for HD Network Startup

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM) is planning to launch MGM HD, the film company’s first wholly owned channel in the United States.

The fulltime service will be distributed via DirecTV beginning this fall.

“The growth of the MGM library and the further expansion of the MGM channels worldwide are the studio’s primary objectives,” said Harry E. Sloan, MGM’s chairman and chief executive. “By converting MGM’s sizable library to high definition, we’ve developed a sustainable business model for an MGM HD Channel in the U.S. We believe that as these new technologies and platforms emerge, they will be instrumental in adding overall value to the studio.”

The service is backed by MGM’s library of more than 4,100 film titles. Initially, offerings including “The Black Stallion”, “Usual Suspects”, “Leaving Las Vegas” and “West Side Story” will be available on the high-definition service. The company also plans to offer original programming and new content.

In previous years, MGM has focused on developing a global market for its offerings, with 20 separate feeds of MGM channels outside the United States. Areas served include Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.