MGM launches HD channel in U.K.

Venture will be a 50-50 partnership with Sky

LONDON -- Despite talks of a potential sale, MGM is pressing ahead with its global channel expansion, breaking into the U.K. market for the first time with the launch of a joint venture HD library movie channel in partnership with BSkyB, it was announced Monday.

MGM HD, devoted exclusively to the delivery of movies in high definition, will be a 50-50 partnership with Sky and will run 24/7. It will feature such titles as "Annie Hall," "The Pink Panther," "The Russia House" and "Moonstruck."

The deal was announced by MGM channel head Bruce Tuchman and BSkyB COO Mike Darcey, and brings to 20 the number of MGM-branded channels that are now available in more than 130 countries. Recent countries that have seen MGM-branded HD channel launches include the U.S., Latin America, Poland and Israel.

BSkyB offers 37 HD channels, including 10 dedicated HD movie channels, which together show about 600 individual HD movies per month.