Chellomedia has acquired Hollywood studio MGM’s international channels, adding over 40 million homes to its channel footprint. Chellomedia, the content arm of Liberty Global, will take on 13 MGM branded channel feeds including those in Spain, Turkey, Israel, Benelux and Poland, India and South East Asia. The pan-EMEA Channel is also included.
Chellomedia president Niall Curran (pictured) told DTVE sister publication TBI that the deal followed several months of negotiation. “MGM has been through a review process and that led to a change in focus and we were at an advantage as joint venture partners of theirs in Latin America and central and eastern Europe and operating partners in Benelux and Spain.
The MGM brand will be retained and the deal ensures a regular supply of content for the 78 channels covered by the deal.
Curran added that a key focus will be ensuring the MGM channels are available on various devices and platforms. “People still love the MGM brand and with an ever-increasing array of options reliable brands help people navigate, but people also want to consume in a way that fits with the digital era and we will give the channels life in that new environment.”
MGM will retain ownership of its channels in US, Canada, UK, Germany and its joint venture interests in Brazil and Australia.
Roma Khanna, MGM’s president, television group and digital said: “MGM is not exiting the channel business completely. We are instead shifting our channel focus to the territories of the US, Canada, UK and Germany along with our joint venture territories of Brazil and Australia.”
Separately, Chellomedia has also struck a new agreement to create new CBS-branded channels from Chello Zone’s existing bouquet of channels in 83 territories across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The new agreement with CBS extends the UK-only deal struck between Chellomedia and the US broadcaster three years ago. With the new deal, which will operate along similar lines to the UK agreement, Channels from Chellomedia’s Chello Zone division will be rebranded and reprogrammed as CBS Reality, CBS Drama and CBS Action. CBS will take a 30% stake in the channels, which will air content from CBS’s library including 48 Hours, Judge Judy, Dynasty, Star Trek, Touched By an Angel and America’s Next Top Model. A new board will be formed with representatives from CBS and Chello Zone to guide strategy and direction.
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