Well, since others on here seem to be able to talk off the cuff about "their sources" and everybody on the board swallows it whole... I'm assuming a pro-Blu-ray guy gets the same privileges?
Kidding asside, I took this rumor to two of my contacts a week ago (when I first heard about this rumor) and they went to every contact at every major studio that wasn't already supporting HD DVD (I say that because I don't think they spoke with Universal) to see what could be found. I can't disclose my sources but I've waited a while until I heard back a full report from everyone behind the scenes before saying anything.
In every case the rumor was flatly debunked, and in most cases they said it produced laughter on the part of the studio contacts who are continually amazed at the FUD tactics of the HD DVD group on stuff like this. In any event, it's been verified that it's not MGM or New Line. Warner has no desire to part with New Line and New Line has no desire to part with Warner... or to change it's stance on embracing Blu. MGM is part owned by Sony, however Sony has 2 weeks to come back and counter any bid for additional stock. So even if another company tried to acquire more controlling stock, Sony basically has first right of refusal (which they wouldn't refuse). MGM is also completely happy with Blu and has no desire to even entertain the question of moving away from the obvious market solution for a single HD format. Another company that owns lots of MGM stock was also contacted to see if they would put pressure on MGM to go HD DVD if MS, who was buying stock in them, asked them to. "No" was the short answer on that one. That's also in addition to MGM's contractual oblications with Sony and Fox which precludes HD DVD production even if they were so-pressured.
I think most folks here keep forgetting that the studios do NOT WANT TWO FORMATS.
They want ONE. The only reason Toshiba is pushing the "dual format" idea is because they know that there's no way HD DVD could become the single HD solution in the market now, and they'd rather drag this out than just admit it's over. And for the next few months they'll have the public support of Universal and Paramount due to contracts so they can keep acting like it's "not over" for just a little while longer, though the crash in HD DVD software sales may allow those studios to move to blu faster than the original contracts might have under normal circumstances.
Why do the studios want one format?
If you're a studio, having to author for two HD formats, manufacture two HD formats and distribute two HD formats costs $$ and s a royal pain... *especially* when both those HD formats server the same "hi def" consumer audience (unlike HD versus DVD which appeal to two different markets... but even that's a pain for the studio). the other problem with dual HD formats is that the presence of two formats keeps many would-be adoptors on the fence for fear of "beta" and so HDM sales can't begin to grow until the industry settles in on a single format which will allow the broader "beta-shy" consumers to jump in.
Both the studios and retailers (who have only limited shelf space) want a single format... PERIOD. And since it's now apparant that the move to a single format is actually taking place, the studios have even LESS desire than ever to rock the boat back in the direction of a format-war stalemate. That's why Warner went blu and not red... they want to END the stalemate, not perpetuate it.
At this point even if MS tried to buy a major studio and succeeded, it wouldn't mean the long-term success of HD DVD, just as Universal and Paramount holding out now haven't stopped thousands of HD DVD player returns at Best Buy and Amazon or kept HD DVD software sales from dropping to a stand-still. Even Universal and Paramount have plans to go blu, but right now are keeping a good face on for HD DVD to help Toshiba ease out of things and to keep consumer confidence going a little longer to help sell on HD DVD inventory. This spin that the hold-out is to give MS time to secure another studio is just another one of these false rumors set in motion by a party heavily entrenched in HD DVD's interests that would rather muddle the market and perpetuate HDM confusion than have the industry move smoothly towards a single HD format solution.
There are some that would like to believe that the industry could have two HD formats side-by-side and succeed just fine. I've heard examples of PC and MAC and cable and Dish service as examples. Anyone can believe what they want to believe. However, I'm telling you what the industry at large wants: Toshiba and a small band of HD DVD enthusiasts won't change that.