In yet another example of the ever-changing distribution models of Hollywood studios, Viacom/Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate have partnered to launch a premium TV channel (’09) that will also feature films from Paramount Vantage and United Artists, as well as original series. MTVN will provide marketing and affil services to the venture, which will also include a VOD component. The sweeping initiative "has the potential to be a game changer for the industry," said Viacom pres/CEO Philippe Dauman in a release. It has already changed the game for Showtime, which will see its output deals with MGM and Lionsgate expire in Dec after a similar deal with Paramount expired last year. The net "opted to walk away" from renewal negotiations because of "unreasonable" fee requests, said spokesman Stuart Zakim, and instead will concentrate on originals and indie films. But theatricals will keep playing prominently going forward, said Zakim, who noted Showtime will be "flush with product" from Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate through ’11.

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NBCU’s Shell Not Interested in M&A Any Time Soon

Don’t expect NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell to be the latest media executive to announce a major merger or acquisition. He’s more than happy with what he’s got.

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