New pay TV service to launch


Viacom, MGM and Lionsgate yesterday announced a joint venture to create a new video on demand service, set to launch in the fall of 2009. The new venture will have access to Paramount and Paramount Vantage titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009. The venture’s programming slate will have exclusive access during the pay television window to such recent and coming films as Iron Man, Star Trek, Pink Panther 2, Cloverfield, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Shutter Island, GI Joe, Love Guru, and Valkyrie. In addition, the new venture will have access to motion picture titles spanning the vast libraries of the five studios.

Viacom, which owns Paramount, will provide operational support to the venture, including marketing and affiliate services through its MTV Networks division.

"This venture has the potential to be a game changer for the industry. We are building an innovative service that will use traditional and new digital distribution technologies to bring great film and television entertainment directly to the consumer. By combining the output of Paramount with MGM and Lionsgate, two film and television powerhouses, we are creating a premium film and television programming brand with unique flexibility to bring consumers the very best blockbuster movies and innovative TV series,” declared Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.