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Epix is close to signing its second major carriage agreement, Bloomberg is reporting, this time with cable provider Cox Communications. Epix is currently only available to subscribers of Verizon’s (s VZ) FiOS service, which stands at around 2.7 million vs. Cox’s the 6.2 million subscribers.
A joint venture between Paramount (s VIA), Lions Gate (s lfg) and MGM, Epix offers service providers a premium cable network with an online video component tied in, allowing subscribers to the channel to watch a number of first-run and catalog content for free online. The service officially launched on FiOS on Oct. 30.
Based on the Bloomberg report, it seems Viacom (s via) is seeking to leverage its existing relationships with distributors to get the channel in front of viewers. While Epix had previously been pitching itself solo to service providers as a low-cost alternative to networks like Showtime (s CBS) and HBO (s TWX), the Cox deal would reportedly package the cable network along with a number of other Viacom properties, including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
Verizon subs that want access to the channel and associated online content pay $9.99 a month for the service. But because Epix is being packaged along with other Viacom cable channels, it’s not clear what the cost of subscribing to the channel would be for Cox subscribers.