MGM expands cable reach in India

Partners with Star DEN to target 70 mil households

NEW DELHI -- MGM said Tuesday that it has struck a partnership with Star DEN Media Services to expand distribution of its 4,000-title library in India via cable, IPTV and direct-to-home platforms.

Mumbai-based Star DEN is a 50-50 joint venture between News Corp.'s STAR India and DEN Digital Entertainment Network.

The agreement expands MGM's existing distribution in India, which began in the late 1990s when the MGM Channel was first made available through a joint venture channel with broadcasting group Zee TV.

The initiatives is the second major overseas move by MGM since its May launch in Italy via News Corp.'s Sky Italia pay television service. Pricing details and other distribution details will be formalized shortly.

"We have taken a long-term view of controlling our destiny here by establishing our India subsidiary and expanding distribution with Star DEN who will widen the market for the MGM Channel," MGM Networks executive vp Bruce Tuchman said.

Star DEN is the exclusive distributor for Star India's bouquet of channels such as flagship Hindi entertainment channel STAR Plus and other STAR-distributed channels such as Disney.