Greenberg named president of New Premium Entertainment

Mumbai: Mark Greenberg, a cable industry veteran with extensive management experience in pay television, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the new premium entertainment joint venture formed by Viacom Inc., its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate.

The joint venture, announced on 20 April, creates a next-generation premium television channel and video on demand service that combines new and classic feature film output and original television series from five leading studios, including Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate. Greenberg will be responsible for the management and development of the new venture.

Speaking on behalf of the CEOs of the partner companies of Lionsgate co-chairman and chief executive officer Jon Feltheimer said, "Mark, who has spent 25 years in the cable industry with HBO and with Showtime and, most recently served as a strategic advisor to me at Lionsgate, is the perfect executive to fill this important leadership role. With his long and successful track record in the premium pay television arena, his extensive business development expertise and long-standing relationships with programmers and distributors, Mark will be a big contributor as we shape the service’s linear and digital strategy and bring important new innovations to consumers in the premium television category."

Greenberg said, "I feel privileged to work with such a well respected group of executives and to lead a venture with such an extraordinary collection of motion picture and television content. This is an industry-altering opportunity to reinvent the premium television category and deliver first run movies, library content and original television programming in a way that takes full advantage of current and emerging technologies. I am excited about working closely with our distribution partners to develop new and creative ways to deliver premium entertainment to consumers."

The new joint venture will have access to Paramount and Paramount Vantage titles released theatrically on or after 1 January, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after 1 January, 2009.

In addition, the new venture will have access to motion picture titles spanning the vast libraries of the five studios, which include Braveheart, Forrest Gump and the Mission: Impossible, The Godfather and Star Trek franchises from Paramount; the James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky franchises from MGM; and Dirty Dancing, Reservoir Dogs, Crash, Monster’s Ball, the Saw franchise, the Tyler Perry catalogue and The Blair Witch Project from Lionsgate.

The new venture will also feature new original television series created by the five studios. Viacom will provide operational support to the venture, including marketing and affiliate services through its MTV Networks division.