Epix just picked up speed in the race to let subscription viewers download movies and TV shows to digital devices so they can watch them without an Internet connection.
The venture co-owned by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM calls itself the “first network to deliver offline viewing directly from its mobile apps, available across Kindle Fire and all Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets including iPads, iPhones, and Samsung and Nexus devices.”
Today’s announcement follows Epix’s decision last month to funnel its content through Hulu, breaking from Netflix. Several analysts say that move might clear the way for Comcast (which co-owns Hulu with Disney and Fox) and AT&T’s DirecTV to pick up Epix. Early this month Amazon Prime said that it will allow its subscribers to download some of its programming.
Downloading will be available sometime this month. Only certain titles will be available, but they will include franchises such as The Hunger Games, James Bond, and Star Trek plus “original documentaries and music and comedy events featuring marquee talent including Katy Perry, Craig Ferguson, Louis CK, Mark Maron and more,” Epix says.
“By creating a network first, true TV Everywhere experience, consumers can now download a movie from our library and watch it anywhere, anytime, even without a Wi-Fi connection – while waiting at the airport, traveling by train, commuting to work, or even on a camping trip,” CEO Mark Greenberg says.
The company clearly wants to convey that this will make the channel more attractive to pay TV distributors. This morning’s release includes an endorsement from Time Warner Cable’s General Manager for Digital, Mike Angus, who says that “Working with [Epix] to capitalize on technology to create more ways for our customers to watch is a great way for us to add value together.”