Premium entertainment network Epix is having a good week after a distribution drought. Cable operator Mediacom Communications plans to launch the multi-platform network to its subs in April. No details, though. As was the case earlier this week with the Cox Communications deal, neither company is saying how many households will get the network, how it will be rolled out or how it will be offered.The two deals are vital for the JV of Viacom (NYSE: VIA), Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), which launched Oct. 28 with distribution only on Verizon FiOS. Execs have said for months that cable deals were on the verge but they couldn’t pull the pin until now. Of course, two cable operators aren’t enough to plant a flag and claim success but it does add credibility.
Meanwhile, JV partner MGM continues to face financial uncertainty. The first round of bids are due Friday. A dozen potential bidders have signed NDAs to see the books, according to Reuters (NYSE: TRI), but not News Corp (NYSE: NWS). which could still be a bidder. Fellow JV member Lionsgate is interested, as are Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA). Terry Semel and Peter Chernin are also said to be looking seriously.