The fledgling movie channel Epix, which has struggled to compete with more established movie channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz since it launched last October, has in one fell swoop doubled its distribution after the DISH satellite network agreed to carry it as part of its HD premium service -- a $10-per-month add-on to any level of its current packages. Until now, Epix has been able to land distribution deals only with Cox, Charter, and Mediacom's cable systems and Verizon's FiOS, fiber-optic service, which together claim about 14 million subscribers, about the same number that DISH alone counts. (Comcast, the largest cable system, is the largest cable provider, with about 24 million subscribers, followed by Time Warner with 13 million. DirecTV, DISH's satellite rival, has 18 million subscribers.) Epix, which is jointly owned by Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM studios, also operates an online streaming service.

19/04/2010