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Thursday, November 10, 2005
MGM to support Blu-ray Disc Format

In an expected move, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. on Wednesday said it would support the new high definition Blu-ray Disc format, created by a group led by Sony.

The MGM announcement marks the latest move in an increasingly heated battle over rival DVD technologies between the Sony-led camp and another group led by Toshiba, which is pushing a format known as HD DVD.

MGM's move was not considered a surprise as the studio behind the lucrative James Bond film franchise was bought in April by an investor group including private equity firms Providence Equity Partners and Texas Pacific Group, as well as Sony and Comcast.

MGM said it plans to begin releasing film and television titles from its library of 4,000 films when the new Blu-ray hardware launches in North America, Japan and Europe.

"MGM's library coming to Blu-ray is certainly a nice feature in the Blu-ray's camp," said Gerry Kaufhold, analyst with In-stat.

Last month, Warner Bros., a long time supporter of HD DVD among Hollywood studios, threw its weight behind Sony's rival Blu-ray format, following a similar move by Paramount.

Currently, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Lions Gate Entertainment and Paramount Pictures Corporation are the hollywood studios that support the Blu-Ray format. On the other hand, Warner Home Video Inc., Universal Pictures and Paramount Home Entertainment support the rival HD DVD technology.

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