Netherlands, Belgium land studio library
MGM Networks is fashioning a customized MGM Channel for local audiences in the Netherlands and Flemish-speaking Belgium. Subtitled in Dutch with on-air packaging and promotions targeted to the local market, the newly revamped channel will be transmitted and distributed through an agreement with Chellomedia, the European-based content division of Liberty Global.Movies from the Lion’s library skedded to air include “Get Shorty,” “Manhattan” and “The Birdcage” as well as classics such as “West Side Story” and “Some Like It Hot.” The Hollywood studio will continue to own 100% of the channel. “By having a dedicated Dutch channel we can schedule flexibly based on local viewer preferences. What this all comes down to is a much higher value proposition for subscribers in the Netherlands and Flemish-based Belgium, and with the high growth rates in digital penetration, it also means a more lucrative business for us,” MGM Networks exec VP Bruce Tuchman told Daily Variety. Currently, the English-language version of the MGM Channel is carried on all major cable systems in the Netherlands, but with this new deal, MGM and Chellomedia intend to provide customers, starting this September, with this more customized version, replacing in effect the existing English-language version. In addition, through this deal, the MGM Channel will debut for the first time in Belgium. Following the launch of the new channel, the partnering parties plan to offer an accompanying MGM-branded subscription video-on-demand service to platforms in the market. “Accelerated digital growth and an increased offer of local channel propositions are driving a compelling opportunity for international broadcasters to localize their offering and significantly enhance their attractiveness to distribution partners and viewers alike,” added Lukas Kernell, general manager of thematic channels for Chellomedia Benelux. Localized versions of the MGM Channel are available in 120 countries and territories around the world. Recently, there have been localized launches in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and a number of markets in Asia. Liberty Global’s Chellomedia is a provider and distributor of TV channels, content and digital services internationally, with ownership of 22 TV brands as well as a suite of digital services.