Epix, the commercial-free subscription service acquired by Amazon when it bought MGM for $8.45 billion, is getting a new name, but not a very original one.
In its announcement, Epix calls itself a streaming service, but at last count it reportedly had about 85 million subscribers, mainly through cable, satellite and telco distribution, getting a big boost from Comcast during the cable operator’s distribution battle with Starz.
The release, which doesn’t mention Amazon, said MGM Plus will continue to be available in the U.S. on Prime Video, cable, telco, satellite and digital distribution services.
Epix belatedly launched a standalone OTT service, Epix Now, in 2019. That will also be known as MGM Plus. ▪️
Epix 2 will become MGM Plus Hits, Epix Hits will become MGM Plus Marquee and Epix Drive-In becomes MGM Plus Drive In.
The launch of the new brand coincides with the Season 3 premiere of Godfather of Harlem. The network said Season 2 set records for single-title streams in a single day across Epix’s digital channels.
Two new original series have been greenlit to run on MGM Plus: Hotel Cocaine from Epix Studios, and Belgravia: The Next Chapter, a Carnival Films co-production with Epix Studios, distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.
Epix has also greenlit orders for two docuseries, one about the unsolved haunted house Amityville murders from Sony’s B17 Entertainment, the other about the San Francisco music scene from 1965 to 1975 from Jigsaw Productions in association with Amblin Television and the Kennedy/Marshall Co.
“MGM is one of the most iconic and beloved brands from the golden age of entertainment,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM Plus. “This rebrand is a promise to existing and new viewers that MGM Plus is the place to find television that reflects and celebrates the legacy of the iconic MGM brand - cinematic programming with sophisticated storytelling that entertains, delights, surprises, and transports. MGM is television for movie lovers.”
The company said the new MGM Plus logo “will embody the rich legacy of MGM, while at the same time orienting the brand toward the future. It reimagines the rich, 100-year history of MGM’s classic art-deco typeface in a contemporary and forward-facing fashion. The typography and brighter palette combine the rich legacy of the classic MGM brand with the forward-learning spirit of the next generation streaming service."
Imaginary Forces helped with the branding. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.