Viacom Loses Appeal for Spike Name - Multichannel

Viacom Loses Appeal for Spike Name

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A New York State Appellate Court Thursday spiked Viacom Inc.'s stay request of
a preliminary injunction filed by filmmaker Spike Lee barring the company from
renaming its TNN: The National Network service Spike TV.

Viacom was attempting to stop a ruling by state Supreme Court last Thursday
that has stalled TNN from calling itself Spike TV.

The network had planned its
male-targeted makeover and name change for June 16.

In the injunction, Lee claimed the name change was a deliberate attempt to hijack his image and prestige.

In a statement, Viacom officials said 'This case is far from over. We think today's ruling perpetuates a flawed and perplexing decision with far-reaching First Amendment implications that go well beyond the significant financial
damage our network has incurred. We intend to appeal vigorously and still expect to be vindicated ultimately. We firmly believe we have an absolute right to use the common word 'spike' as the name of our network.'

In papers filed at the Appellate Court Tuesday, Viacom claimed it was losing approximately $16.8 million in the first week alone because of Lee's court
actions.

Network lawyers will appear in state Supreme Court June 23 to discuss parameters for a trial, as well as to file an appeal against the court's original injunction, said network executives.

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