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Viacom Sued to Spike Name of Men's Channel

Filmmaker Spike Lee is suing Viacom Inc. over its plans to call the TNN channel Spike TV to attract male viewers. Lee filed papers June 3, 2003 for an injunction against Viacom's use of the name, it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter. "The media description of this change of name, as well as comments made to me and my wife, confirmed what was obvious that Spike TV referred to Spike Lee," he said in court papers. Viacom has been asked to explain why it shouldn't be barred from using the name. Viacom bought TNN in 2000 and announced a new programming and branding initiative, which is expected to launch on June 16, 2003. Viacom said it was confident the court would reject Lee's claims to the name Spike. Lee said TNN's president Albie Hecht has publicly associated the name "Spike" with Lee. Lee has signed affidavits from industry people who thought of Lee when they heard about Spike TV. Some believed Lee had become affiliated with the network.

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