Hollywood studios tout entertainment service--for 2009

It doesn't have a name yet, but the joint venture from Viacom, Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate does have a lot of content at its disposal for TV and VOD viewers.

A joint venture featuring heavyweight Hollywood studios is looking to fall 2009 to launch a premium television channel and video-on-demand service that will offer feature films and original television series.

TV stock art

The unnamed venture, and the unnamed channel it will produce, has the backing of Viacom and its Paramount Pictures unit; MGM Studios; and Lionsgate. Films to be offered will include new titles from Paramount and Paramount Vantage released in theaters after January 1, 2008, and new titles from MGM, United Artists, and Lionsgate released after January 1, 2009, according to a statement from the companies on Sunday.

The studios will also make available many older titles, including Braveheart, Forrest Gump, and The Blair Witch Project, along with titles from the Godfather, Star Trek, and James Bond franchises.

In addition, the venture will feature new, original television series.

The companies made no specific mention of an online component for the venture, but did make reference to "the digital marketplace of the future," and offered this rather generic promise: "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."

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About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.


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