Amazon Looks to Be Shutting Down MGM HD Linear Channel
On Thursday at 7 a.m. ET, a post from on MGM HD’s official Facebook page stated that the channel’s last broadcast day would be Oct. 31, 2022. However, the post has now either been made private or deleted. The Streamable has reached out to MGM for confirmation on the channel’s plans, without response as of publishing time.
The channel's website does not mention anything about an end date, and still has its normal lineup and schedule on display. The channel's schedule currently lists content through Oct. 5, which is about the usual two-week overview that has been provided in the past. You can still watch MGM HD, at least for now, on Philo, which offers it as part of the platform’s “Movies & More” add-on.
MGM HD, which is now owned by Amazon through the tech company's acquisition of MGM this year, has been hosting the MGM film collection for 14 years. The linear channel showcases MGM classics around the clock and hosts themed programming blocks for various genres, including Westerns, action films, and mysteries.
The disappearing post comes less than a month after DISH Network stopped carrying the channel. The potential cancelation of the channel comes after Amazon acquired MGM in March in a deal worth $8.5 billion. While it is not necessarily a surprise that Amazon would want to move all of its properties onto its own in-house platforms, it is curious that the tech giant would completely shut down an existing channel rather than simply transitioning it to one of its own services, either the subscription service Prime Video or its free streaming sibling Freevee.
Both free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels and niche streaming services have seen a rise in popularity recently as the behemoth subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streamers have hit a saturation point at almost the exact moment that many consumers started to become concerned about the economy.
So, could Amazon have plans to monetize the incredible MGM library that it now controls via a free linear streaming channel on Freevee? Or could Amazon’s plan be to license individual titles from the century-old MGM archives to other streamers? If so, who would be willing to pay to add the classic films? Certainly, HBO Max wouldn’t be in the running as it is not only looking to shed costs, but the MGM library would compete with the company’s Warner Bros. films archive.
Perhaps Netflix would be interested in bulking up its classic movie offerings. The film selection on the world’s largest streamer has shrunk by 35% over the past seven years, and with their own original movies coming with a spotty record with critics and consumers, having familiar, iconic films could help keep customers engaged.
Of course, Amazon could also decide to add them to MGM’s Epix streaming service, which shares its content with Paramount+. Whatever Amazon’s plan is for the MGM archive, it is a bit surprising that the company would completely shut down a streaming channel that has been active since 2006.