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MGM teams on Euro pic web

Move part of strategy to boost global tube presence

U.S. cable giant Liberty Global’s London-based content arm chellomedia is launching a joint-venture movie channel with MGM in Central Europe.

It’s part of an ambitions strategy to boost its global channel presence that also will see dedicated feeds for Extreme Sports and the Horror Channel roll out in Europe and possibly Japan as Liberty seeks to boost revenues from its TV businesses to E200 million ($240 million) this year.

Details of the MGM deal are sketchy: chellomedia prexy Shane O’Neill will release more information at next month’s Mip TV mart in Cannes.

MGM’s library will provide a big attraction for chellomedia in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Horror Channel, acquired last year by chellomedia when it bought the Zone Vision group of channels, is likely to launch in the Netherlands later this year, with other territories to follow.

Extreme Sports, which chellomedia owns, and is distributed to 20 million households across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, launched a local services in Poland in January and will roll out a French version later this year.

At a press briefing O’Neill said chellomedia wanted a bigger presence in fewer markets.

The combo will concentrate on “four key clusters” — 3 million subscribers in German-speaking territories, 2.3 million in Benelux, 5.5 million in Central and Eastern Europe, and 2 million in Japan.

The intention is to invest in content in each of these regions, including mobile and broadband-delivered VOD.

The latest of these new media ventures is an Extreme Sports mobile content unit, Extreme to Go, offering video for handheld devices and podcasts.