Launched by MGM Channel Central and Eastern Europe, a 50/50 venture between MGM Networks and Liberty Global’s investment company LGI Ventures, the new service will be carried on UPC, Slovenia’s biggest cable operator.
The launch comes as the board of MGM CEE appointed Phil Mordecai as general manager. Replacing Klaus Michler, Mordecai was previously MGM CEE’s distribution agent.
Underscoring the rapid expansion in the studio’s overseas TV business, MGM completed the rollout in just five years using a variety of ownership structures and broadcast formats. It began in late 2004 with a Russian-language service on satcaster NTV Plus.
MGM CEE launched the channel in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. In Poland in partnership with Polish media company ITI, it rolled out MGM Channel in HD.
“Even in the current economic environment, we’re finding subscription TV is vibrant,” MGM Networks prexy Bruce Tuchman said in Cannes. “I’ve read stories of Central-Eastern European economies facing economic crunch, but I’m optimistic about expanding our subs base and growing revenues.”