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Epix Opens Access To Consumers — With A Hitch

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If you jump through a few hoops you may be able to watch new premium channel Epix — for 72 hours. Online. The channel, launching Friday with only Verizon FiOS as a distributor, needs to generate consumer interest. You can’t do that with a very private beta or a service that can be used only by subscribers of multi-channel video providers who have a deal. The joint venture of Viacom (NYSE: VIA), Paramount, MGM and Lions Gate started offering some tokens this week through industry trades. Now it’s quietly offering weekend passes that are good for 72 hours for people who sign up and give the name of their satellite, cable or telecom service.

It’s not automatic though: “Invite codes are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis so check your email at the end of the day on Thursday, and we’ll let you know whether you made it into this weekend’s most exclusive destination.” If those codes arrive in time for the launch weekend, users can binge on Iron Man, Madonna Sticky & Sweet: Live from Buenos Aires, Eddie Izzard: Live From Wembley and more.

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