The companies finally put a date on the agreement made in December for the No. 2 cable operator to offer the premium service which has been struggling to expand its distribution. Time Warner Cable will help to generate some buzz by offering its digital video customers a three-month free trial of Epix, Epix 2, Epix 3, and Epix Drive-in. Epix will be available in standard and high definition, while Epix Drive-In will be only in SD. In addition to the linear channels, TWC will offer Epix programming on VOD and will stream content to the service’s app. “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,” says TWC’s Jeffrey Hirsch. The cable company is eager to slow, and possibly reverse, the decline in its video subscriptions. Meanwhile Epix — owned by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM — sees the deal as an opportunity to build momentum for additional deals, possibly including with Comcast, which plans to buy TWC, and DirecTV.
“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,” CEO Mark Greenberg says. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in January that Epix’s backers plan to increase original programming including scripted series for the channel, which primarily features movies. He also hinted that they’ll step up promotion for the channel, saying that they will “make that work for TWC.”