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Sling TV Adding Epix Channels

16 Feb, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sling TV, the $20 per month nascent standalone subscription streaming service owned by Dish Network, Feb. 16 announced it will soon carry Epix — the premium content channel co-owned by Lionsgate, Viacom and MGM.

Under the arrangement, Sling TV subs — for an additional undisclosed fee — will have access to Epix, Epix2, Epix3 and Epix Drive-In featuring more than 2,000 movies on-demand.

Full details will be announced in the coming weeks, Sling TV rep John Hall said in an email.

At the same time, recently announced addition AMC Networks — home of “The Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul” and “Broadchurch,” among others, will be included in the $20 monthly service. The official launch date is pending.

With its innovative business model eschewing the traditional pay-TV ecosystem, Sling TV remains very much a work in a progress as well as barometer for other media companies eyeing OTT video platforms.

While third-party content CNN, TNT, TBS, ABC Family, Disney Channel and Adult Swim, among others, represents a solid base, Sling TV raised eyebrows when it landed ESPN and ESPN2 — both cornerstones of pay-TV.

“Our customers crave the newest movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Transformers: Age of Extinction, but they also have a growing appetite for the classics and Epix delivers both,” Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, said in a statement.

AMC marks another feather in the cap for Sling TV — in addition to enabling the premium channel to go direct to consumers without launching a more-expensive standalone service as HBO and Showtime plan to.

For Epix — earmarked by its corporate parents as a multi-tiered distribution platform when launched in 2009 — Sling empowers the hybrid premium cable and satellite television network to reach cord-cutters, or about 10 million households opting only to pay for broadband service.

“Sling TV is an innovative new way to deliver content to consumers who are looking for alternatives beyond traditional pay-television,” Mark Greenberg, CEO of Epix, said in a statement. “From the very creation of Epix, we have sought to capitalize on new technology to reach people with our movies where they want them, when they want them and how they want them. This is another exciting step forward with a great partner in that effort.”

Initial Sling TV subscriber data could be disclosed Feb. 23 when Dish reports quarterly financial results.

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