Trademarks Hint At Nets', Ops' Planning

10/12/2003 8:00 PM Eastern

Lifetime Entertainment Inc. is thinking about developing a radio network, EchoStar Communications Corp. is preparing to launch a new high-definition service called Super Dish HDTV and Scripps Networks Inc. is taking steps to develop a Spanish-language programming service.

Those are just a few examples of business plans that were revealed after these companies obtained trademarks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In June 2002, Lifetime filed for the trademark "Lifetime Radio for Women," and in August of that year, it obtained the "Lifetime Radio Network" trademark.

A source familiar with the network's plans confirmed Lifetime is considering launching a radio network. But Lifetime officials declined to comment for the record.

Radio wouldn't be Lifetime's first move to extend its brand beyond television — the company debuted Lifetime
magazine in April.

Scripps pages

Multichannel News
first reported in September 2001 that Scripps Networks, whose holdings include Home & Garden Television and Food Network, was in the early stages of developing a Spanish-language network.

Within the past year, Scripps has trademarked several terms related to the Hispanic network, including Canal Del Hogar Y La Familia, which translates to Home and Family Channel.

Scripps also obtained trademarks for Nuestro Espacio TV (Our Space TV), Canal Del Hogar (Home Channel), Buenas Ideas (Good Ideas), and Concinando Contigo (Cooking With You), which appears to be the name of a new Spanish-language program.

Scripps Networks spokeswoman Cindy McConkey confirmed the trademarks were related to Scripps's developing a new Spanish-language programming service.

"We are continuing to develop the actual programs and continuing to develop the strategy and business plans for Hispanic programming," McConkey said. "We're not really ready to lay out what and when, but these [trademarks] are certainly related to those plans."

EchoStar currently offers its subscribers several HDTV channels, but one if its trademarks reveals the brand for a new HDTV service called Super Dish HDTV that it plans to launch by the end of the year.

Senior vice president of programming Michael Schwimmer confirmed in a recent interview that the trademark, which EchoStar obtained on March 20, is the brand for its new HDTV service.

Super Dish HDTV will be offered to subscribers that buy a new 66-centimeter satellite receiver, Schwimmer said.

Schwimmer declined to detail which networks will be offered in EchoStar's new HDTV service, but he stressed that it will be a comprehensive lineup.

"We'll look at any HD programming," Schwimmer said. "We think it's the future. We believe that we are and will continue to be a leader in high-definition programming."

Smartcast taken

Among the trademarks that Comcast Corp. has obtained is Smartcast, which it filed for on April 25.

Comcast officials wouldn't detail how the MSO will use the Smartcast brand, but spokeswoman Dana Reynolds said the advertising-sales division trademarked Smartcast, and that the company has "no immediate plans" for the trademark.

Trademarks obtained by Starz Encore Group suggest that the company may be considering developing some new channels for distribution overseas. In June, Starz Encore — whose founder, John Sie, was born in China — obtained trademarks for Chinese Starz! and Oriental Starz!.

Spokesman Eric Becker said Starz Encore's international division obtained the trademarks, but that he didn't have any information about how they may be used in the future.

Fear TV

Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. has obtained some intriguing trademarks, including Fear TV, which it picked up in January 2001.

According to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office document, the Fear TV trademark covers "entertainment services, namely, production and distribution of motion pictures, television, cable, and online programs, DVDs, videos, audio tapes featuring a variety of entertainment and educational themes."

Vulcan also won trademarks for Smartertainment and Smartainment.

Vulcan spokesman Michael Nank declined to comment on the trademarks the company obtained.

Trademarks Pending Trademarks issued to cable companies by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:
Company Trademark
Source: Multichannel News research.
Lifetime Lifetime Radio Network
Lifetime Radio for Women
Scripps Networks Canal Del Hogar Y La Familia (Home & Family Channel)
Nuestro Espacio TV (Our Space TV)
Concinando Contigo (Cooking With You)
EchoStar Super Dish HDTV
Comcast Smartcast
Starz Encore Group Chinese Starz!
Oriental Starz!
Vulcan Inc. Fear TV

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