Spurred by strong projected growth for international DVD playersales, MGM Home Entertainment has reclaimed full control of its distributionoperations in the UK, Australia, France and Germany.
The decision to recapture distribution in theseterritories is consistent with MGM's contractual option to reclaim back-roomfunctions as part of its international distribution agreement with TwentiethCentury Fox Home Entertainment.
The two companies are currently in advanced negotiations to haveFox continue to distribute and market MGM's home entertainment product in theremaining international territories.
In a statement released today David Bishop, the division'spresident and chief operating officer, said: "This is an inflection point in the growth of worldwide homevideo. DVD player penetration in the international marketplace is 12 to18months behind the US, and growth within our newly self-distributed territoriesis expected to double by 2006."
"With this move", added Bishop "we now control 75% ofinternational sales, marketing and distribution."
Bishop paid tribute to Fox, which he said, was "particularlysupportive of our international strategy from the outset, knowing our intentionall along was to expand MGM's self-distribution operations."
He added that he looked forward to continuing the company'srelationship with Fox.
MGM Home Entertainment controls the home video, DVD andvideo-on-demand rights to the MGM studio's library of films, which numbers morethan 4,000 titles.