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Epix Shows Mobile Hand

Epix provided a look at the mobile version of the premium-movie service that would let cable, telco and satellite distributors deliver hundreds of movies on-demand to subscribers' mobile devices.

Epix, a joint venture of Viacom, MGM and Lionsgate formed in 2008, has distribution deals with Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Verizon's FiOS TV, Mediacom Communications and the National Cable and Telecommunications Cooperative. The programming venture's multiscreen delivery play was conceived as one of its key differentiators

Epix made the announcement at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, which is being held from Feb. 15-18 in Barcelona, Spain. The new mobile service will be available as an additional option to distributors, according to Epix. The premium channel currently provides about 300 movies on-demand on VOD and online and Epix anticipates the library to expand to 3,000 titles in the next year.

Epix's mobile player is expected to provide authenticated subscribers access to full-length movies, available at the highest quality available to a given device, as well as programming extras. The venture also is developing a "bookmark" feature to let users pause a movie they're watching on TV or online and resuming watching it on a mobile device.

"We are committed to providing viewers with the best entertainment experience anytime, anywhere -- and what better place to deliver on that commitment than mobile?" Epix vice president of operations Thomas Carpenter said.

Epix's mobile version of the channel runs on Adobe Systems' Flash Player 10.1. The programmer also has joined the Adobe-led Open Screen Project, an initiative with nearly 70 participating companies, which aims to provide a standard user experience across mobile phones, desktops and other consumer-electronics devices.