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MGM Resorts International Message Board

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  • mgmrocks mgmrocks Sep 1, 1999 8:31 AM Flag

    MGM earnings

    INTERVIEW-TPS expands MGM partnership with
    channel
    By Sue Landau

    PARIS, Sept 1 (Reuters) -
    French digital satellite service TPS (Television par
    Satellite) said it is launching a film news channel on
    Wednesday and expanding an existing accord with U.S. movie
    group Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (NYSE:MGM -
    news).

    Guillaume de Posch, TPS deputy managing director, told
    Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that the new
    channel's launch and MGM's recent acquisition of film
    catalogues prompted TPS to implement fully an accord it made
    with MGM in 1996.

    ``Why are we doing this now?
    MGM recently bought catalogues from Polygram and
    Orion/Goldwyn, giving it critical mass. In terms of content the
    recent acquisitions give its catalogue much more
    depth,'' de Posch said.

    TPS, operated by French
    private TV group TF1 , competes with French pay TV group
    Canal Plus's CanalSatellite service, which benefits
    from its parent's near hegemony in rights to first TV
    screenings for films in France.

    In June TPS gained
    access to another domain where Canal Plus has held sway
    up to now by buying into French first division
    soccer coverage, which it now shares with Canal
    Plus.

    TPS has some 700,000 subscribers and aims to have 1.2
    million in 2001 or 2002, which will bring it to break
    even. By contrast CanalSatellite, which launched its
    digital service before TPS, had 1.2 million subscribers
    by early July.

    Under the accord the new
    channel, Cinefaz, will carry two series, ``Magnificent
    Seven'' and ``Dead Man's Gun'' and a film industry news
    programme from MGM in its Saturday evening
    slot.

    France, aiming to boost cinema attendance, does not allow
    television stations to broadcast films on Saturday
    nights.

    The accord with MGM also gave TPS the right to first
    French TV screening of MGM films on its two Cinestar
    film channels and to use all of MGM's film library on
    its Cinetoile channel, broadcast on most cable
    networks as well as on TPS.

    MGM's film library, now
    the world's largest with some 5,300 titles, includes
    James Bond films as well as box office hits like ``Four
    Weddings and a Funeral'' and ``Silence of the
    Lambs.''

    TPS has also just signed an accord with NC
    Numericable, the cable network operator controlled by Canal
    Plus, which will now carry Cinestar and Cinetoile, de
    Posch said.

    TPS is 25 percent owned each by TF1,
    TV group M6 , M6's parent Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux
    and a grouping of France Telecom and French general
    public TV channels France 2 and France 3.

 
MGM
22.98+0.53(+2.31%)Oct 30 4:01 PMEDT

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