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MGM to consolidate its home entertainment biz with Fox

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MUMBAI: Revitalised by the recent reinvigoration of its motion picture distribution and marketing organisation as well as by the formation of its new media division, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) continues along the path of controlling its library.

Moving in that direction, MGM will be re-establishing its worldwide television distribution efforts by bringing the business back in-house. Similarly, the studio will no longer divide its home entertainment releases between Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox home entertainment divisions. Instead, MGM will consolidate its home entertainment business with Fox. Additionally, MGM and Fox will continue their international theatrical distribution relationship.

MGM's library, recognised as the largest in the world, encompasses 4,000 movie titles and 10,000-plus episodes of television programming. A large number of such titles and episodes are available for home entertainment release.

MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan said, "MGM's motion picture distribution business is growing rapidly as we will release some 80 new feature films in North America over the next four years. We are now ready to turn our attention to our television and home entertainment distribution businesses. In so doing, we have identified another important opportunity to build out our business by returning our worldwide television sales operations in-house and by consolidating our home entertainment releases with a single distributor."

The changes do not affect Sony's distribution of the upcoming James Bond release, Casino Royale, due out in theatres this November. Additionally, MGM and Sony have extended their relationship in regards to the Bond franchise with both MGM and Sony agreeing to co-produce and co-distribute the next Bond movie, as well as Pink Panther and others to be determined. MGM and Sony, along with Revolution Studios are also teaming up in a co-financing arrangement on Rocky Balboa, which will be released by MGM on 22 December 2006.

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