TNN rebranding to proceed despite Spike Lee setback

LOS ANGELES: The New TNN is going ahead with its planned rebranding efforts to transform itself into "the first network for men," said VP of communications Robert Pini, despite an injunction last month upholding auteur Spike Lee's contention that that a name change to Spike TV would unfairly associate him with the network.

LOS ANGELES: The New TNN is going ahead with its planned rebranding efforts to transform itself into "the first network for men," said VP of communications Robert Pini, despite an injunction last month upholding auteur Spike Lee's contention that that a name change to Spike TV would unfairly associate him with the network.

"We do have to follow the letter of the law. At this point, we are tweaking new promos and deleting the word 'Spike,'" explained Pini of the broadcaster's plans as it faces what could be an expensive and lengthy court battle.

Pini added that the network will focus on promoting its new lineup of male-centric programs - including an animation block, which began to air in late June, with shows like Ren & Stimpy and Stripperella - instead of centering attention on the name. However, backing away from planned promos is likely to cost the network millions of dollars.

The legal wrangling has drawn a great deal of press attention, meriting numerous business-section front-page stories. That, said Pini, has been a plus for the network.

"The press has been very supportive of our case," added Pini, "and I also feel that the brand recognition has really gone beyond our expectations."

The New TNN began its name change in June with major events such as a "Spike" party at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles. Further name-branding events will be delayed for now, said Pini, who added that the network is committed to fighting in court for use of the Spike name.

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