Sling TV said it has inked a deal to offer linear and on-demand programming from EPIX, marking the first announced premium content deal for Dish Networks’s new OTT service.
Sling TV, which launched nationally last week with a lineup that starts at $20 per month, also noted that its rights for EPIX cover multiple streams, all linear channels in the EPIX family (EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, and EPIX Drive-In), and access to about 2,000 on-demand movies and other titles from the EPIX library.
Sling TV’s distribution deals with programmers such as AMC Networks, A+E Networks and Univision also include multistream rights, but Sling TV itself is currently a single stream service.
Sling TV said it will feature EPIX as an add-on package, and will announce a launch date and package and pricing details in the “coming weeks.”
Update: The Sling TV-EPIX distribution deal was announced amid a new multi-year renewal inked between EPIX and Dish Network, also announced on Monday (February 16).
“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,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, in a statement. “Sling TV will feature EPIX’s linear channels and movies on-demand in an add-on package that is accessible and affordable.”
“Sling TV is an innovative new way to deliver content to consumers who are looking for alternatives beyond traditional pay television,” added Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of EPIX. “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.”
Sling TV’s core $20 package currently offers ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey and Galavision, plus access to WatchESPN, content from Maker Studios, and a VOD library. AMC will be added to that package in the weeks ahead.
Sling TV also markets add-on packs that run $5 per month each: Kids Extra and News & Info Extra.
Early into its launch, Sling TV is offering device bundles (free Roku Streaming Sticks or Amazon Fire TV Sticks, or deep discounts for the Roku 3 and Amazon Fire TV box) to customers who agree to pay for three months of service up front. As reported by GigaOm and temporarily shown on a Web page that has since been taken down, Sling TV is also preparing to offer a 50% discount on the Android TV-powered Nexus Player, which regularly sells for $99.
Sling TV has yet to announce deals to offer HBO, Showtime or Starz. Of the three, HBO is slated to launch a direct, OTT version of the service in the U.S. later this year.
Last week, CBS CEO Les Moonves said CBS is considering an OTT offering for Showtime. Although CBS’s new carriage deal with Dish did not cover rights for Sling TV, Moonves did acknowledge that he is open to a deal.
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