TWC To Launch EPIX On March 18

Moving ahead on a long-term multiplatform deal inked last December with Viacom, Time Warner Cable announced Tuesday that it will launch EPIX’s premium multiplex on March 18.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but TWC said it will launch four channels from the premium programmer’s stable: the flagship EPIX channel, as well as EPIX 2, EPIX 3 and EPIX Drive-in. To give customers a taste in the hopes that they’ll subscribe to the EPIX suite, TWC will offer all EPIX channels to digital basic tier customers for three months.

TWC will offer EPIX in high-definition and standard-definition, while EPIX Drive-In will be available initially in SD format only.

The distribution deal also covers set-top VOD and authenticated TV Everywhere access on tablets, smartphones, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles, and Roku boxes to a library of “thousands” of titles, including recent hits such as The Hunger Games, Skyfall, and Star Trek Into Darkness, The Avengers, and World War Z.

TWC, the nation's second-largest incumbent cable operator, is an important get for EPIX, the joint venture between Viacom, its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) that still lacks carriage on Comcast, which is in the process of merging with Time Warner Cable under a $45 billion deal announced last month.

EPIX is available to more than 45 million homes thanks to distribution deals with MSOs such as Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Hawaiian Telecom, Dish Network, Mediacom Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, and the National Cable Television Cooperative, which represents hundreds of independent pay-TV operators.

“We’re very pleased to launch EPIX on linear channels, VOD and through their app and are excited to provide our customers with access to this new source of top quality movie and original content through all Time Warner Cable platforms,” said Jeffrey A. Hirsch, EVP and chief marketing/ sales officer- residential services at Time Warner Cable. “This is yet another way of showing that we appreciate our customers’ loyalty and are consistently working hard to provide even more value to their service.”

“EPIX is thrilled to be partnering with Time Warner Cable, a leading distribution partner respected for its high quality suite of products and services” added Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of EPIX. “This launch expands our footprint into new markets and provides an exciting opportunity for EPIX to bring Hollywood’s biggest films and blockbuster content to Time Warner Cable’s large base of subscribers.”