Epix's long, slow rollout across the U.S. pay TV spectrum took another important step with a deal to launch four standard-def and HD channels on AT&T U-verse (NYSE: T).
Terms of the deal, announced Monday, were not disclosed. But starting immediately, AT&T will carry four new Epix channels: Epix, Epix 2, Epix 3 and Epix Drive-in. The premium network will also be available to subscribers of both Epix and U-verse via TV Everywhere mobile apps, Epix.com and VOD.
To promote the new premium channel, AT&T is giving U-verse customers a free Epix preview on the weekend of July 25-27.
With the addition of U-verse's nearly 5 million subscribers, Epix is now available in more than 50 million U.S. homes. The network, a joint venture of Viacom, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, secured carriage on the nation's No. 4 pay TV service, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) in March, adding to a portfolio that also includes Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ) and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH).
If merger agreements between TWC and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), as well as AT&T and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), are approved, Epix could soon find its premium package of theatrical movies, stand-up comedy specials, concerts and documentaries fully integrated into the American home. (There is no confirmation at this time that the company has hired a lobbyist to support these mergers.)
"We know that AT&T holds innovation and the consumer experience in the highest regard and we are very pleased to embark on this new relationship," said Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of Epix. "Working together with AT&T provides Epix with access to consumers nationwide and brings Hollywood's biggest blockbuster films, documentaries, concerts and comedy specials to a brand new audience."
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