April 21, 2008
| by Rachel Cericola
Hooray for Hollywood—or at least part of it. The news out of Tinseltown is that a few studios are banding together to cut out the middleman and launch a TV channel.
Come 2009, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lionsgate will become a small-screen entertainment force.
There’s no word on what the channel will be called, but it will be a premium, meaning you’ll have to pay like HBO. Also like HBO, the channel will offer feature films, original TV series and video-on-demand.
“This venture has the potential to be a game changer for the industry,” said Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of Viacom Inc. “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.”
Expect to find titles released theatrically by Paramount and Paramount Vantage on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate from January 1, 2009 and on. One advantage to the new channel: You can be the first on the block to see “Iron Man,” “Cloverfield,” “Star Trek” and other anticipated titles once they hit the airwaves; the TV newbie will have exclusive access during the pay TV window.
Older titles such as “Braveheart,” “Forrest Gump,” “The Godfather,” and others will also be available.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.