Dish Network subscribers will have available to them some of the latest movies from three major Hollywood studios when Epix becomes one of their channel choices this month.
Epix, the pay TV channel owned by Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., said Monday it has signed a distribution deal with Dish, which will make its movies and other content available to the satellite service's 14 million customers.
Details of the deal with Dish were not disclosed.
Dish will begin offering the channel, Epix Premium HD, this month to all subscribers who add Dish's platinum high-definition service to their current package for $10 a month.
Epix offerings include new movies and the catalog of 15,000 films from the studios, original programming and special comedy and concert events offered in high definition and standard formats. Among the offerings Dish subscribers may access once the channel goes live are "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire," and "The Cove," both Oscar winners; "Star Trek," "GI Joe," "Paranormal Activity," and Tyler Perry movies.
Also to be included are music specials featuring Madonna, The Black Eyed Peas and The E.N.D., and a comedy tour featuring Lewis Black, Chris Rock and others.
Epix, formed in 2008, has also reached distribution deals with cable providers Charter Communications Inc., Verizon Communications Inc.'s FiOS, Mediacom Communications Corp., and Cox Communications Inc.
It said the deal with Dish is the first national distribution deal and positions the company to reach 30 million homes by May.
Epix was formed as a joint venture of the three Hollywood studios after they couldn't agree to keep sending their movies to Showtime, the pay TV service owned by CBS Corp.
The channel debuted in October 2009 on Verizon and cost $9.99 a month to subscribers. The channel's movies are also available to subscribers on the Internet at EpixHD.com.
In addition to films from the major studios, Epix said it will carry up to 22 films from the independent distributor Roadside Attractions and up to 20 of Samuel Goldwyn's films slated for theatrical release this year and in 2011.
Dish separately announced that several other high-definition channels are joining its lineup, in addition to Epix. The new channels expand Dish's HD offerings to 200 national channels. They include G4 HD, Headline News HD, History International HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, ShortsHD, Style HD and Turner Classic Movies HD.
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