MGM Ready For Close-up With YouTube

Legally BlondeLooking to broaden its longer-form video offerings to consumers, YouTube has partnered with MGM to launch a channel featuring selected full-length movies.

YouTube--the big, mostly user-generated video site--will run the channel called Impact, features action movies and TV programming such as "Rocky," "Ronin," "Legally Blonde" and "The Magnificent Seven." Impact already runs this channel as a video-on-demand offering with cable network Comcast. MGM says since its launch last August, it has pulled in some 12 million views.

In addition, MGM will be running another channel called "American Gladiators," focusing on highlights and full episodes of the syndicated version of the show that first appeared in the 1980s and 1990s.

MGM only wants a handful of movies on the YouTube site, not its entire library. Jim Packer, co-president of MGM Worldwide Television, has said he believes that having 30 or 40 movies up at the same time won't work.



As it does with TV programmers, YouTube will devote a separate channel area for MGM. The channels will be ad-supported, with videos being refreshed every month. Plus, MGM is considering a women-target channel featuring movies such as "Moonstruck."

YouTube also has deals with the independent studio Lionsgate for clips of movies and TV shows. This effort is intended to direct viewers to sites to buy DVDs or pay for a full-length download. In addition, YouTube has a deal with CBS for TV shows.

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