This is a nice — if predictable — pickup for Epix, which has been struggling to become a fixture on pay TV distributors’ premium channel lineups. Bright House is the No. 6 cable company, with about 2M video subscribers including a heavy concentration in Florida. But most of its carriage deals are handled by Time Warner Cable. And TWC gave a big boost to the Viacom-Lionsgate-MGM-owned service in March when it became the biggest pay TV operator to carry Epix. With a 90-day free introduction, Epix “has become one of Time Warner Cable’s most-watched networks,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts last week. Distributors including Comcast and DirecTV have questioned the need to offer a movie-oriented premium channel in addition to ones controlled by HBO, Showtime and Starz.
Bright House says that starting yesterday it has offered Epix, Epix 2, Epix 3 and Epix Drive-In as linear channels and on demand, adding that online access on an Epix app will come “soon.” Epix is offered in HD and SD. Subscribers will have the same 90-day free introduction that TWC offered. “Bright House Networks is known for its strong portfolio of products and services and its commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience,” Epix CEO Mark Greenberg says. “We are delighted to be building on that reputation and helping to enhance their offering to customers while expanding our own footprint.”
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