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Cable network wins the right to call itself Spike TV

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Cable network wins the right to call itself Spike TV

  • Film director Spike Lee settles lawsuit with Viacom’s TNN, allowing the network to proceed with its name change.

July 8, 2003 — Three weeks after its launch, The New TNN is finally getting a chance to try out the new name “Spike TV” after settling a lawsuit brought by film director Spike Lee.

A New York state judge on Monday lifted the preliminary injunction that had barred the Viacom unit from changing its name to “Spike TV” in a move to reposition itself as “the first television network for men.”

The director of “Malcolm X” and “Do the Right Thing” won the preliminary injunction on June 13, only three days before the scheduled name change. Lee, whose real name is Shelton Jackson Lee, claimed that “Spike TV” exploited his public persona.

One of Lee’s attorneys, Terry Gloss, told The Associated Press on Monday that the case had been settled but did not release details of the settlement. Monday was also the deadline for Lee to post a $2 million bond in addition to $500,000 already posted to cover Viacom’s expenses if Lee lost the lawsuit.

Viacom had argued that “Spike” was a common name and restraints on its use had far-reaching First Amendment implications. The son of 1940s band leader Spike Jones also filed an affidavit in the case. He was concerned Lee’s case might interfere with efforts to promote and sell his father’s work.

In addition to showing reruns of the “A Team,” “Baywatch” and “Star Trek,” The New TNN features Pamela Anderson in an animated series called “Stripperella.”

(Lee v. Viacom) KH

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