Comcast finally signs on to carry Epix, leaving DirecTV as only holdout

Image: Epix

Comcast has finally signed a carriage agreement with Epix, leaving DirecTV as the only major pay TV operator not to carry the premium cable network jointly launched by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM.

According to an Epix announcement, the subscription programming service will be available to users of Comcast’s X1 video system starting in early 2018. 

Launched eight years ago, and now wholly owned by Metro-Goldwyn-MayerEpix is now available in 70 million U.S. pay TV homes.

Epix competes in a competitive market for premium cable networks, now crowded by HBO, Showtime and Starz. And it’s been a long, slow climb to reach adequate scale and distribution for Epix, with the top two U.S. pay TV operators, Comcast and DirecTV, claiming to eschew the service largely because its content is ubiquitously distributed on platforms like Netflix and Hulu. 

RELATED: MGM picks Amblin, Turner alum Wright as president of Epix

But the network has been making an aggressive push to develop original programming, hiring former Turner Networks President Michael Wright two weeks ago and launching on-demand series including “Get Shorty,” “Berlin Station” and “Graves.”

“Comcast’s Xfinity TV is one of the most innovative and powerful distribution platforms for entertainment content across the United States,” said Gary Barber, CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. “As we increase our investment in original series, expand content offerings and commit more resources to developing Epix’s brand and appeal, we are excited to partner with Comcast and bring Epix’s suite of premium content to their customers.”

Comcast will also make Epix available for subscription through the Xfinity Stream app.