MGM HD Roars Into Second City

RCN launched MGM HD in Chicago, the biggest of several recent rollouts and carriage contracts for the studio's dedicated high-definition service.

MGM HD, which earlier had reached carriage contracts with DirecTV and Verizon's FiOS TV service, is up and running in the Windy City via a company-wide distribution deal with RCN.

The HD service has also recently launched on cable systems owned by BendBroadband, Massillon Cable TV Inc. and Millennium Telcom, according to network officials.

Additionally, MGM HD has signed agreements with ACE Communications Group, Antietam Cable and Armstrong Communications, but the service has yet to be made available to those operators' digital-cable subscribers.

“The promise of high definition is becoming realized with MGM HD at the forefront,” said Douglas Lee, executive vice president of worldwide digital media for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, in a statement. “Our new carriage agreements are a clear indicator that there is grassroots demand for MGM HD’s great brand and proposition in today’s competitive environment.  Many cable operators today are bandwidth constrained so it’s really great they have committed valuable capacity to us, which underscores our belief in the viability of MGM HD’s value in the marketplace.”

The network, which draws from MGM's 4,100 title library, also features such original fare as exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage of red carpet events, sneak peeks at new films in production, seasonal promotions and world premieres of newly re-mastered MGM hits. In addition, it proffers a companion MGM HD VOD platform, with other content available at