Q. I wanted to watch MGM HD today on Comcast, but it was gone. What happened? — Bev, Baltimore.
Bev, believe it or not, Comcast announced more than six months ago that it would drop MGM HD, but didn’t actually remove it until this week.
Let me explain.
A Comcast spokeswoman in May 2018 said her company would drop MGM on June 1. Asked why, she declined to give a reason other than to say its carriage contract with MGM HD was expiring and “we don’t plan to continue to carry it.”
But June 1 came and went, and MGM HD stayed on.
Comcast has not given a reason for why it kept the channel on for seven months after its supposed cancellation. But it’s likely for one of two reasons.
1. MGM’s contract with Comcast actually didn’t expire until now. (Possible, but not likely. Why would Comcast say it expired on June 1.)
2. Comcast and MGM tried to work out a new carriage agreement so Comcast kept the channel on while negotiations continued. Then, when it became obvious they couldn’t reach terms, Comcast pulled the plug once and for all. (More likely scenario.)
MGM HD, which launched in 2007, had been available on Comcast systems since 2008. The channel, which is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), features older movies from the MGM library such as Coming Home (pictured above), The Pink Panther, A Shot In the Dark, The Manchurian Candidate,, The Stranger, Mulholland Falls, and Something Wild.
MGM HD is currently available on DIRECTV, U-verse, Verizon, and several smaller cable systems. But Comcast’s decision to drop MGM could make it more difficult to survive in the increasingly competitive category of niche channels.
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— Phillip Swann