The premium channel jv involving Viacom/Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate will allow Viacom to "take greater control of our destiny… that’s our mission," said pres/CEO Philippe Dauman Wed at the Sanford Bernstein conference. Dauman said the venture’s content ownership is a critical benefit, helping Viacom brand its stable of cable nets, which collectively own a 23% share of linear ad-supported cable content and 35% of that on cable VOD. He framed Paramount’s former content deal with Showtime as restrictive and said the jv assures partners will get ample "revenue for [film] pay windows" while also allowing for the creation of TV product "hopefully as great as ‘The Sopranos’." So far, Dauman said prospective distribution partners are excited about the net’s interactive and multi-platform possibilities. "We’ve never seen so much interest, so quickly at the executive level," he said.

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Flay Sticking with Food Network

Bobby Flay signed a new three-year exclusive deal with Food Network for the development of new content for the Discovery portfolio.

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