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Paramount Lionsgate and MGM Pick a Name: Epix

epix name chosenLast April, in a surprise announcement, Lions Gate, Viacom (Paramount) and MGM announced plans to launch their own, then unnamed, premium cable channel and video on demand service.  Soon after, Business Week reported former Showtime exec Mark Greenberg was set to take the helm.  Besides those two tidbits of information, there’s been speculation (including talk of Blockbuster joining the group) but limited detail.  In November, a 10Q filing revealed the first small peek into project, specifically, detail on some of its costs.  Now, another tiny piece of info has snuck out: its name.

MediaPost discovered the TV channel  aiming to compete with HBO will be called Epix.    The name has been confirmed by Studio 3 Partners and trademarks have been applied for.

The channel is expecting to launch in Q4 2009.

[Side Note: no explanation of the name choice has been provided or discovered.  It what is an interesting coincidence, however, the name and website domain were the subject of a contentious trademark fight between 1997 and 2002 between two entirely unrelated entities.  One of the involved parties was a company called Interstellar Starship Services Ltd. (ISS) that operates a website at showing  pictures (epix translated to “electronic pictures”) related to their promotion of a live version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  ISS was sued by a Chicago company called Epix, Inc,  for trademark infringement.   After a prolonged battle,   ISS won (PDF).  They continue to use the domain.   We’ll watch to see if it gets bought or some other web presence is developed.]

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