Showtime Loses Major Distribution Deal

Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate have decided that they will form their own premium pay movie cable channel to compete with HBO, Showtime and Starz.

Here's a chance for consumers to spend even more money for another cable channel so they can see bad films re-run over and over again.

The yet-to-be-named channel was formed when the three companies agreed that the prices cable channel Showtime was charging for its film rights contract renewals was too cheap. So they've decided to go it alone and form their own channel, focusing on video on demand.

Paramount ranked first in domestic theatrical market share in 2007, so this move hits Showtime right where it hurts. As a result, Showtime no longer has any contracts with a big distributor for feature films. The contracts with the new channel will be for films that are distributed after Jan 1, 2008 for Paramount and Vantage Pictures, and Jan 1, 2009 for MGM, UA and Lionsgate.

So if you want to watch the Love Guru or Pink Panther 2 a couple hundred more times next year, you will have to fork out more money for another channel, which will no-doubt make the cable and satellite companies even more money.

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