After reinventing itself and launching a New Media division, MGM will now reestablish its worldwide TV distribution in-house and consolidate its DVD business with Twentieth Century Fox rather than splitting home entertainment releases between Sony Pictures Ent. and Fox. It should be noted that both Sony and Fox are aligned with the Blu-ray format for high-def DVD. Additionally, MGM and Fox will continue their successful international theatrical distribution relationship.
The changes do not affect Sony's co-production and co-distribution of franchises involving James Bond, the Pink Panther, Rocky and others to be determined. The latest 007 movie, CASINO ROYALE, the first to star Daniel Craig, will be theatrically released Nov. 17. 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 Dec. 22.
MGM's library, recognized as the largest modern library 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/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."
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (www.mgm.com), through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, which is comprised of more than 4,000 titles. Operating units including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Ent. Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Ent. LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corp. of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%).