Par, Lionsgate, MGM venture named Epix

Premium TV service will launch in fourth-quarter 2009

Epix has been selected as the name for the new premium TV channel and VOD service from Viacom and its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and MGM.

A spokesperson for Studio 3 Partners, the company that runs the service, confirmed the news, which was first reported Friday by MediaPost.

"Studio 3 Partners has filed applications for multiple trademarks," the spokesperson said. "This is another step forward in the launch of our next-generation premium television brand with a strong programming lineup including films produced by Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate as well as original series. We are excited about our progress and are on track with our plans to launch in the fourth quarter of 2009."

There has been little news regarding the new venture since May, when former Showtime exec Mark Greenberg was named president and CEO of the service, which is intended to be compete with HBO and Showtime in the pay TV space.

Greenberg said at the time that the partners had begun discussions with cable and satellite operators, but carriage deals have yet to be announced for the service.