As has been expected, MGM has come out in support of Blu-ray Disc, promising to release film and television titles from its library on the format when the hardware launches in North America, Japan and


(The Hollywood Reporter) -- As has been expected, MGM has come out in support of Blu-ray Disc, promising to release film and television titles from its library on the format when the hardware launches in North America, Japan and Europe early next year.

In April, MGM was acquired for $5 billion in cash and stock by a group of investors led by Sony, developer of the high-definition, next-generation optical disc format. Sony, which pumped $300 million into the deal, wound up with 20% of MGM's stock and also snagged rights to distribute MGM films in theaters and on home video.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment began distributing MGM product in July.

At the time of the MGM sale, industry observers suggested that one reason Sony was so eager to buy the studio was to obtain rights to its 4,000-title movie catalog and thus get plenty of potential Blu-ray fodder.

"Adopting this new Blu-ray technology, with its expanded storage capacity and increased interactive capabilities, allows us to continue to provide our customers with the best movie-viewing experience available," recently appointed MGM Studios chairman and CEO Harry Sloan said.

Sony chairman and CEO Howard Stringer called the MGM decision "a tremendous win for movie lovers everywhere."