Television

MGM Networks to launch channels in Portugal, Korea

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MGM Networks, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has entered into agreements to launch MGM-branded channels in Portugal and South Korea.

These channel agreements, combined with MGM Networks' launch in the Middle East earlier this year, nearly doubles the number of countries in which MGM has established a channel presence to date. MGM now has equity interests in foreign channels that reach more than 40 countries around the world, according to an official release. In India, the network has a joint venture with broadcaster Zee for its English movie channel Zee MGM.

In Europe, an MGM Movie Channel is planned to launch in May in Portugal. MGM commenced its Europe footprint by launching the MGM Movie Channel in Malta on 1 February and in Russia on 1 March this year. The MGM Movie Channel was launched in Malta on Melita Cable, the release states. In Russia, MGM Networks inked a deal with Metromedia International, which introduced the MGM Movie Channel into the market of the former U.S.S.R. on 1 March, initially launching on the Kosmos MMDS system in Moscow. In Portugal the MGM Movie Channel will commence on cable systems owned by Cabovisao, S.A.

The MGM Movie Channels in Russia and Malta are owned 100 per cent by MGM Networks. The Portuguese service will be provided by MGM Networks Latin America LLC, which operates the MGM Networks Latin America business. In South Korea, MGM has announced an alliance with the country's leading DVD distributor, Spectrum DVD, to launch a customised Korean language service later this month. The MGM Movie Channel - Korea will be carried on the new Skylife DBS platform. MGM Networks will own 33 per cent of this channel, the maximum permitted under Korean law.

All the channels offer round-the-clock offerings from MGM's celebrated 4,000-title library, the largest modern film library in the world, claims the company. Films include the pyschological thriller Hannibal, the Reese Witherspoon comedy Legally Blonde, and Heartbreakers which is about a pair of mother-daughter con artists.

The library also includes 19 Woody Allen films, and the popular James Bond, Rocky and Pink Panther franchises.

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