New premium channel planned

In news which could shake up the cable landscape, Viacom, MGM, and Lionsgate have announced a new joint venture that will launch a new pay-TV channel and a companion video-on-demand service next year.

The new channel is expected to compete with Time Warner’s HBO and Cinemax and CBS Corp.’s Showtime and The Movie Channel – which used to be under the ownership of Viacom before the split that sent CBS and Viacom their separate ways in 2006 (Showtime and Movie channel were also Viacom properties before the acquisition of CBS and Paramount Pictures.)

Sumner Redstone is chairman and controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, which is the only link left between the two names.