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Epix, the high-profile premium movie JV from Viacom (NYSE: VIA), Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate, is launching online tomorrow in a private beta. The service, announced with much fanfare in April last year, still hasn’t announced a distribution deal on cable or satellite. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in an earnings call earlier this month that they won’t have all the carriage deals in place by October, the slated month for the channel’s launch, but is confident about the launch itself. “It’s kind of a rolling process for us…We are all very confident,” he said. Late last year we reported about the total investment in the channel run by the JV company called Studio 3 Partners, LLC: the partner companies will sink in close to $100 million over the channel’s lifetime and more if performance criterion are met.
The online channel has about 100 movies on it, reports NTV, including new movies like Iron Man. It also plans to have original series, like the one it announced in Feb. The service launches tomorrow here, and users will be able to request access on a rolling basis. It is streaming the movies in HD format, using a dynamic-streaming feature offered with Akamai’ CDN, as described here. The company’s chief digital officer is Emil Rensing, one of the co-founder of online video studio Next New Networks, and his company Twitter feed is here, in case you want to get updates about the online service.