New TV venture's name to be unveiled

Service is a joint product from Viacom, Lionsgate, MGM

NEW YORK -- Viacom Inc., Lionsgate and MGM look to be getting ready to unveil the name of their premium TV service joint venture in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the 36th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman promised a branding announcement in the "very near term." He didn't divulge the likely name.

Neither did Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns later in the conference day. But he said carriage deal talks with distributors have been "meaningful" and said the premium TV service could end up being exclusive to cable, exclusive to satellite TV and telephone firms or be offered to all three.

Dauman said the launch of the premium channel was still on target for Oct. 1.

Asked how he feels today about foregoing traditional output deals with other premium TV services and launching a new one, Dauman said: "It was a very good business decision." Burns reiterated the same for Lionsgate.