Disney, MGM’s entertainment content on Xbox

MUMBAI: Microsoft Corp. announced at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that Disney-ABC Television Group and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) will be joining the more than 35 networks and studios offering US Xbox LIVE members premium entertainment content via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace Video Store.


“Disney-ABC Television Group and MGM are two of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, and this announcement helps continue to evolve and diversify the content offering on Xbox LIVE,” said Microsoft president of the entertainment and devices division Robbie Bach. “The ability to offer such great content in high definition further expands Microsoft’s commitment to connected entertainment with Xbox 360.”


Later this month, all US Xbox LIVE members will begin to have access to select TV shows and movies from the ABC Television Network, ABC Family, ABC News, Disney Channel and Toon Disney as part of an agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group. More than 500 hours of content, in both standard definition and high definition when available, will be offered including hit ABC Television shows Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives.


Past and current ABC shows will be available on demand, with new episodes arriving on the service the day after they air on television. A variety of award-winning ABC News broadcasts and specials from its unparalleled archive dating back to 1963 and containing priceless interviews, stories and historical moments will be available for download as well.


Viewers will also be able to enjoy shows from ABC Family, such as Kyle XY and Greek, as well as popular Disney Channel series including Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and select Disney Channel Original Movies such as High School Musical and High School Musical 2.


“As a company dedicated to providing consumers with a variety of high-quality entertainment and news content that they can view at their convenience, regardless of time, place or platform, we are very excited to bring our programming to Xbox LIVE members,” said co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney. “This new agreement will not only provide incremental viewing opportunities, but also provides a wealth of promotional opportunities to further awareness of our shows and brands.”


MGM will be bringing its legendary movie library to the service, with classic films ranging from the Rocky series to Dances with Wolves. Action-thrillers such as Terminator, Silence of the Lambs and The Amityville Horror, comedies and broad-appeal titles such as Legally Blonde, Barbershop and Agent Cody Banks, and award-winning films such as Platoon, Rain Man and The Usual Suspects highlight the diverse launch lineup. United Artists, an MGM sister company, will be making films available as well. Many titles offered by MGM will be available in high definition.


“The Video Store on Xbox LIVE Marketplace has proven to be very successful, and we are excited that MGM will be a partner in 2008,” said MGM co-president of Worldwide Television Jim Packer. “At MGM we are always looking for new ways to reach our broad audience, and partnering with Microsoft allows us to make our legendary library available to the millions of Xbox LIVE members here in the U.S.