MGM to extend TV reach in Asia through CNBC

SINGAPORE: MGM is pushing forward in its attempt to penetrate the Asian market through MGM branded film channels. The film and television studio has announced a venture with CNBC Asia Pacific to launch a movie channel under the MGM brand name on satellite and cable TV systems in Asian markets.

An official release informs that the broadcasters will launch the channel later this year. The English channel will have Mandarin subtitles. MGM and CNBC Asia Pacific are currently exploring several distribution opportunities in the region.

The alliance will target markets where an MGM channel is not now seen, including China and Southeast Asia. In India, MGM has a joint venture with Zee and is aired as a movie channel Zee MGM. 

Both MGM and CNBC have complementary assets in which they both have core competencies, says an official release. It further underscores the success MGM and CNBC's sister company, NBC, have enjoyed working together overseas. For instance one alliance, in which MGM distributes NBC's prime time TV shows internationally, marries MGM's expertise in selling films and TV shows overseas with NBC's top-rated line-up of prime time programmes such as Will & Grace. In India this airs on Zee MGM's sister channel Zee English.

The MGM Channel in Asia plans to present round-the-clock offerings from MGM's celebrated 4,000-title library, including West Side Story, Midnight Cowboy, The Birdcage, The Manchurian Candidate.

The release states that with the launch of this MGM Channel in alliance with CNBC Asia Pacific, MGM Networks will have in deployment an array of satellite footprints across the globe that will allow technical receipt of MGM Networks channels in all significant international cable and satellite markets, including those within Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.

A Reuters report indicates that MGM views the cable TV expansion mainly as a long term strategy. CNBC Asia Pacific's channels are available in more than 25 million homes across the Asia Pacific region.

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