The Possible Implications Of Fox's Aquisition Of The MGM/UA Catalog

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Paul_Scott, May 30, 2006.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060531/...NlYwN5bmNhdA--

    wonder if this could mean that MGM will have the flexability to 'swing both ways' so to speak? I realize Fox is Bd only (for the moment), but it would seem that this gives that studio a little more wiggle room, rather than having to slavishly follow a corporate parent who had a vested interest in the licensing involved.

    Just wishful thinking from a guy who doesn't want to have to spend another $1K to get some UA film in HD...but a guy can dream can't he?
     
  2. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Why would Fox allow a subsidiary to release on HD-DVD if Fox, as the corporate parent, isn't supporting the format? This just looks like HD-DVD is going to have even less content available for it.

    When did Alex Toth die?
     
  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I read the article. Sony has a seat on the board of MGM plus a 20% stake in ownership. There is no way that Sony would agree to any release of content on the HD-DVD format. The article also stated that MGM has affirmed its committment to the Blu-ray format. To me, that is just corporate newspeak for "we were told we will support Blu-ray whether we like it or not".
     
  4. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Saturday the 27th. dont have all the details, but he was ill for some time I believe.
     
  5. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is another article that lays it out fairly well.

    http://www.homemediaretailing.com/in...=2&newsid=9192

    "MGM’s vast library of more than 4,000 movie titles and 10,000-plus episodes of TV series was a critical reason why Sony in September 2004 led a consortium of investors, including giant cable firm Comcast Corp., in a $5 billion deal to purchase MGM.

    Sony, which wound up with about 20% of MGM, was said to be hungry for more product for its nascent Blu-ray Disc technology, which is slated to materialize later this year as one of two rival high-definition optical disc formats vying to replace DVD as the public’s home viewing format of choice."

    Basically, MGM has chosen Fox to handle their Home Entertainment distribution. This is a blow to Sony, who has been managing it for the last year and who have now lost control of it.
     
  6. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

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    But didn't Warner acquire a large chunk of MGM's pre 1986 catalog?
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Warner had all the pre-1986 stuff as a result of the Turner acquisition.

    I think Fox acquiring MGM/UA would be a good thing; Sony/Columbia obviously doesn't have the first idea of what to do with it, as demonstrated by their deranged treatment of the Midnite Movies line. Fox at least has demonstrated an ability to release the odd cult title and things that (horrors!) were made more than 15 years ago.
     
  8. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    How is this a blow to Sony? The rights go to Fox, an exclusive supporter of Blu-Ray.
     
  9. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Not only that... but this bodes well for Blu-ray because FOX is likely to use MPEG4 or VC1 video encoding versus Sony's preference for MPEG2.

    Bring on MGM on Blu-ray!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    This is great news for newer classic film lovers, Fox, Blu-ray, and even Sony as they never showed any interest in managing this library to begin with, only to insure that these titles would be released on Blu-ray.

    With Warner controlling most of the early MGM releases, and Fox distributing the rest, MGM titles are in superb hands! I can't wait to see what Fox has in mind for some of these titles. [​IMG]
     
  11. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Nothing has been said about whether MGM will be using Fox as a distributor for hi-def discs. This deal could very well deal with SD only.

    60% of MGM is owned by private equity funds and banks. I don't see them as being very patient. If blu-ray does not win a quick victory then these groups may be able to force the issue.
     
  12. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a very good article - it clearly highlights the tensions between MGM and Sony. Sony was outvoted by the rest of the board.

    If you'd like to read the story, registration on the LA Times site is free and pretty quick.

    Sony's Press statement in response, naturally, only dealt with the issue of Bluray.

    I think that this may represent a possible opening for HD DVD.
     
  13. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    The move deals with all Home Entertainment releases.

    As the article above states, Sony has only managed to retain the Home distribution rights for Casino Royale (releasing later this year) and one subsequent Bond film.
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  15. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Yeah, I'm not seeing any opening for HD DVD there, other than if the other interest holders get really spiteful to Sony they could take MGM to HD DVD if they wanted to, and with only a 20% stake Sony couldn't say much about it. But that seems pretty unlikely to me; the other stakeholders weren't satisfied with Sony's handling of the catalog but that doesn't mean they're desirous of a massive pissing match and embarrassing their fellow shareholder just for the hell of it.
     
  16. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I haven't read the article, but it would seem what this change does do is move the catalog away from solely being a hedge for Blu-ray content by Sony to being an independantly controlled entity, interested in maximizing it's own profits to it's shareholders. Would these people really care about saving the face of a (minority?) shareholder, or would they be looking to maximize profits should the copmpeting format prove viable 12 months from now?

    Blu-ray looks to be positioned for a long haul victory. Why would MGM be content to be tied to that model when Blu-ray now is only one (small) source of distribution for its content?

    Another thing to remember, initial mastering costs are much more expensive on Blu-ray. Its a major reason many smaller independants are eyeing HD DVD to start.

    a bottom line is a bottom line.
     
  17. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Robert.

    With all due respect, there are definite implications as a result of this decision. That's why this thread now exists, really, to try to understand the reasons behind the move, and the possible future scenarios that may result.

    The tensions between MGM and Sony are now fairly well quoted and recognized. So when I say that there is now a possible opening for HD DVD here, that's just what I mean.

    Clearly, Sony no longer controls where these movies will end up, or how they will be released.

    Sony would never have allowed these movies to be released on HD DVD. However, it is quite possible that FOX may yet choose to support both formats. This is a definite change in the power balance.

    That Sony was outvoted by the rest of the MGM board (of which they only hold 20% of the voting) is very significant indeed. The board utilized an "underperformance" clause in the contract almost as soon as they legally could (the sale contract prevented them from exercising this clause until at least a year had passed).

    Time will tell, certainly, as to what the true impact is. But I would say that apart from Sony's press release reminding everyone that MGM and Fox still support Bluray, nothing new has been said by these studios in the last week to say that they will not consider supporting HD DVD also.

     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Rob_HD,

    good points. And very reasonably expressed.


    Of course,

    nothing new has been said in the last week to say that they *would* support HD DVD also.

    It's true every studio other than Sony could potentially release HD DVDs as well as BDs. But for the sake of discussion... are we to demand that they confirm their format-stance every week? Every day? Twice a day?

    But you're point is valid that there is a greater potential for HD DVD with FOX governing release that with Sony. Though the strength of FOX's Blu-ray stance has not yet shown any reason to have shifted.
     
  19. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    Patience [​IMG] It's only been a couple of days...
     
  20. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Nice spin, but your assertion is that because Fox doesn't make a weekly press release reaffirming their support for Blu-ray means that they might be considering supporting HD DVD also. At least you were partially correct with the first part, and that "nothing new has been said by these studios... " the rest can just as well have been "to suggest that they are even considering supporting HD DVD also."

    Nothing new being said... so Fox is still exclusively supporting Blu-ray, and have not even suggested that they are considering HD DVD.
     

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