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MGM net’s tied to Thailand

Channel becomes available this month

HOLLYWOOD — Further accelerating its presence throughout Asia, MGM Networks has launched the MGM Channel in Thailand via UBC, that country’s largest cable and satellite provider.

The MGM Channel becomes available this month as part of UBC’s expanded tier packages. MGM and UBC also plan to introduce Thai subtitling to the channel.

“In just over a year, we have seen tremendous growth throughout Asia,” said MGM Networks exec VP Bruce Tuchman, who reports to MGM vice chairman and chief operating officer Chris McGurk.

Among other Asian operations, MGM Networks has a strategic alliance in the Greater China and Southeast Asia market with CNBC Asia Pacific, which assists MGM in the operation and distribution of a MGM channel in the region.

The UBC deal will be part of this regional alliance. It follows announcements of the MGM Channel’s launch in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Separately, MGM Networks holds interests in Lion-branded channels reaching scores of countries and territories worldwide. Among MGM Networks’ latest launches are the MGM Channel in Spain, which premiered last summer, and a Russian-lingo Lion channel that debuted in Russia last fall.

It’s unclear if any Sony Pictures TV execs are yet playing any role in the Lion’s ongoing international operations or strategy. Execs still at the Lion say its “business as usual” on the foreign front, but Sony has its own international foreign channels operations and it’s only a matter of time before it turns its attention to that area. MGM is being acquired by Sony and a consortium of financial investors.

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