EPIX Starts to Stream to the Set-Top

Roku players, Apple TVs and Amazon Fire TV boxes are the main TV-connected platforms for authenticated TV everywhere apps, but those services have started to gain a foothold on set-tops leased and distributed by pay TV operators.

Hitting on this budding trend is EPIX, which has begun to extend an over-the-top bridge to leased MVPD devices with a version of its app that’s tailored for the TiVo platform.

The first to take advantage of the EPIX OTT app is Atlantic Broadband, a 250,000-subscriber operator among a group of MSOs that uses TiVo-powered boxes to deliver their traditional services alongside integrated access to OTT services such as Netflix and Hulu.

EPIX’s integration on Atlantic Broadband’s TiVo platform affords its subscribers access to more than 2,000 movies from the premium programmer’s library, including originals such as Berlin Station and Graves. It also provides EPIX-subscribing Atlantic Broadband customers with almost six times as much of the programmer’s content as had been previously available to them.

That integration also enables EPIX, a joint venture between Viacom, its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and MGM, to weave its OTT/digital content into the TiVo platform without requiring customers to change to another input. It offers EPIX “a more seamless experience for the consumer” and a way to enhance its services it offers to Atlantic Broadband customers, Mark Greenberg, EPIX’s CEO, said.

Additional National Cable Television Cooperative cable systems with TiVo-based boxes will also have access to the new EPIX app, though there have been no additional committments yet. Other U.S. MVPDs that use TiVo’s platform include Buckeye Broadband, Grande Communications, RCN, GCI, Armstrong, Mediacom Communications and Altice USA’s Suddenlink systems.

“Our hope is that others will participate,” Greenberg said. “There are a lot of people looking to see how this rolls out … This is about us working with our partners to make the experience better.”

EPIX has developed authenticated apps for several platforms, including Roku players, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, the Google Chromecast, Android TV devices, and iOS and Android mobile devices.

The EPIX-TiVo tie-in could lead other programmers to integrate their TVE with other MVPD-distributed platforms that have the technical capability to deliver OTT video. Comcast, for example, has already integrated its X1 platform with both Netflix and Watchable, its own