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Epix Begins Online Rollout

16 Jun, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Epix, the high-definition pay-TV and online streaming channel co-owned by Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount Studios, June 16 said it is rolling out the first broad-scale deployment of subscriber authentication to enable online viewing.

The New York-based service said it launched online platform, EpixHD.com, with Cox Communications and Mediacom Communications, and will bow similar authentication with Charter Communications in July. The online component represents studio and media company efforts to retain and attract consumers by offering repurposed original and third-party content across multiple distribution channels for a single fee.

As a result, subscribers can now access for free 150 premium movies in high-definition and standard-definition online, including new releases Star Trek, Shutter Island, Precious and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself; catalog films Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Godfather; videos by music artists Madonna and Black Eyed Peas; and videos from comedians Lewis Black and David Cross, among others.

Epix is offering subscribers free content previews through July.

“Choice for the customer, how, where and when they want to watch TV, is important,” said Rich DiGeronimo, VP of product management with Charter. “Launching Epix’s three service platforms enable Charter customers to embrace and complement how they experience video.”

The service is available in 30 million homes, up from 3 million homes six months ago. Epix backers say the signing of two more significant cable operators could make the channel cash flow positive by next year.

Indeed, Epix posted a $26.6 million loss during the most recent fiscal year, including about $7.9 million of intercompany profit elimination. Intercompany profit/loss elimination is an accounting procedure that tracks asset sales from parent Lionsgate to subsidiary Epix without misstating Lionsgate’s consolidated financial statements, in this case net income.

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