Epix has struck its first nationwide deal with satellite TV provider Dish Network (s DISH), the fledgling cable network said this morning, adding an additional 14 million homes that can sign up for its linear, VOD and broadband movie service.
Epix, a joint venture between MGM (s MGM), Lionsgate (s LGF) and Viacom’s (s VIA) Paramount Pictures, competes with premium cable networks like HBO (s TWX) and Showtime by offering more than 200 movies per month through its linear cable channel and video-on-demand offering. But the big differentiator for Epix is its online component: The programmer has an online component that enables subscribers to view up to 3,000 movies online at EpixHD.com as part of their subscription to the service.
Since being launched in October 2009, Epix has been busy signing carriage agreements with various cable, satellite and IPTV providers. In addition to Dish, Epix had previously signed deals with six other distributors, including Verizon (s VZ) FiOS, Cox, Charter, Mediacom and the National Cable and Telecommunications Cooperative (NCTC). Altogether, Epix says it will reach more than 30 million homes by May.
While the programmer’s mix of linear TV, VOD and broadband was a novel idea when Epix was first launched, the network faces increasing competition from rival cable nets as they roll out their own authenticated online offerings. HBO, for instance, recently rolled out its HBO Go broadband service, through which subscribers will have access to 800 hours of on-demand content from the cable operator online.
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