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Warner, MGM Part of New Canadian Movie VOD Service

24 Aug, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Nascent “Hollywood Suite” multi-platform movie service bows in November pledging 450 titles a month in high-definition

A new cable, satellite TV subscription movie service offering movies on video-on-demand, pay-TV, the Internet and portable media devices said it will launch in November featuring uncut and unedited movies from Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., among others.

Called “Hollywood Suite,” the Toronto-based platform announced a year ago only recently secured major content backing from U.S. studios, which includes 450 catalog titles a month from Warner Films and The MGM Channel, in addition to independent action, romance and relationship films.

Cooperation from Warner and MGM was confirmed by Jeffrey Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros. International Television, and Bruce Tuchman, president of MGM Worldwide Networks, in an Aug. 23 release.

Movie titles, subscription fees and rental programs, which are expected to rival rates charged by Netflix, will be announced closer to launch date, according to industry veteran Jay Switzer, co-founder of Hollywood Suite.

“These channels are designed to meet the strong audience demand for movies across all platforms and support Canada’s television service providers,” Switzer said.

Hollywood Suite is privately owned by Switzer, Jeff Sackman, Michael McLaughlin, Catherine Tait and David Kines.

Since Netflix’s launch last summer of a streaming service in Canada, regional cable and satellite TV operators have attempted to impose data usage caps on subscribers and enact government regulation in an effort to stymie foreign competition.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, in the company’s most recent fiscal call, said the service had signed up 1 million members and is expected to become profitable by next year.

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