MGM to launch 24-Hour digital movie channel in the Middle East

MGM Networks, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., has forged an alliance with the Orbit Satellite Television And Radio Network. A digital, 24-hour MGM-branded movie channel will be launched in the Middle East region. The new channel represents the 15th foreign channel in which MGM holds an equity interest.

Orbit claims to be the Middle East's leading digital satellite platform. The launch is expected to take place in March. The MGM Movie Channel will initially be available on Orbit's premium channel tier through a digital satellite feed across the Middle East and North Africa. The channel will show MGM blockbuster's and other critically acclaimed films. 

In India MGM already has a tie-up with the Zee Network. Zee Movies hived its English movie channel into a separate 70:30 joint venture in September 2000 where Zee held the majority stake. Zee Movies was co-branded and relaunched as Zee-MGM Movie Channel in October 2000.

MGM Networks executive V-P Bruce Tuchman said about the deal with Orbit: "This new channel venture clearly underscores the continued demand for our content abroad, in a key, growing multichannel television market, and marks the latest expansion of MGM-branded channels." 

The Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network claims to be the world's first fully digital, multi-channel, multi-lingual, pay-television service. Orbit provides original Arabic and international English language entertainment channels.


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