When MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount couldn’t come to an agreement with Showtime for cable movie distribution, they went and created their own channel. But unlike the regular premium channels, which take about a year to get out-of-theater movies, the studios’ new service, EPIX, will get popular movies quickly — and it’ll let you watch them on-demand anywhere from EPIXHD.com.
EPIX will be available to Verizon FiOS customers starting in October, and will start with a collection of about 200 popular movie titles. That beats most cable providers’ pay-per-viewing selection, which usually amounts to a couple of dozen B-titles, and outshines Hulu’s anemic ad-supported offerings as well.
But as VentureBeat acknowledges, the EPIX alliance might have trouble recruiting more studios to join their band. And, since FiOS service requires fiber optic hard lines, it’s not available in most of the country. Verizon has about 2.5 million TV subscribers to date; it’s not clear if movie buffs will be able to subscribe to EPIX online even if they don’t have FiOS TV, but Verizon will eventually be bringing at least some of the content to their mobile phone customers via its V-Cast service.