Hollywood auteur Spike Lee is suing an American media company over plans to name a cable channel SPIKE TV.

The Malcolm X movie maker claims viewers would associate the channel with him, and has asked for an injunction against media giant VIACOM's use of his name.

He also claims one executive at the company - who want to rename their TNN channel - told him the name was reference to him.

In court papers filed yesterday (03JUN03) Lee says, "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."

Spike has called on Hollywood pals Edward Norton and Ossie Davis and former senator BILL BRADLEY to sign affidavits to say they had thought of Lee when they heard about Spike TV, and believed he had become affiliated with the network.

Viacom claim the move is intended to attract more male viewers. They say they are confident the court will reject Lee's legal claim to "the popular word and name Spike".

Viacom, which also owns broadcasters such as CBS, MTV, and VH1, has been directed by the judge to explain why it should not be barred from using the name.

04/06/2003 13:51