Epix, the premium movie channel and online movie streaming joint venture created by movie/TV studios Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lions Gate, launched Friday for Verizon FiOS customers. The launch could be considered something of a coup for Verizon and arguably an underwhelming coming out party for a channel formed by studio giants, though Epix could have other distribution partners ready to launch soon. The venture also is offering its array of movie content and DVD-like special feature content on a brief trial basis to non-FiOS customers.
Telcos have gradually gained enough credibility in Hollywood that big content companies and studios are starting to see them as viable launch partners. For example, Verizon last year won exclusive rights to premiere a Disney movie via video-on-demand a few days in advance of the movie's arrival on the Disney Channel. There's still a long way to go in how telcos relate to the content world, but they are at least getting noticed.