MGM will launch its own channel, MGM HD, bringing what the company says is the world's largest film library--some 4,100 titles--to America. Its first distributor is satellite programming retailer DirecTV. MGM HD will be launched in the fall.
MGM said the network would be ad-supported--offering advertisers cross-promotional deals as well as "synergies" among all divisions of the company.
For DirecTV, the deal fills a clear need. The company's goal is to launch 100 HD channels by the end of this year.
But the announcement didn't say whether it would be like other basic cable movie networks, such as AMC, which has limited commercial interruption during movies. Details are yet to be worked out. The studio did say its marketing line to consumers would be: "The way movies were meant to be seen."
While the MGM HD channel is the studio's first U.S. effort, versions of the movie channel have been available in nearly 120 countries, including an MGM HD channel launched in Poland last year.
MGM says the channel will be a major attraction for movie fans, including behind-the-scenes coverage of red-carpet events, sneak peeks at new films in production and world premieres of newly re-mastered hits from the MGM library.