Epix signs pay TV distribution deal with Cox

NEW YORK Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:35pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Epix, a new movie channel owned by three Hollywood studios, has reached a distribution deal with Cox Communications, the third-largest U.S. cable television company, it said on Monday.

Epix was launched October 30 as a joint venture of Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc, with just one distribution partner, Verizon Communications Inc's FiOS TV service.

Since then, the company has said it was in talks with various other companies about additional distribution deals. The Cox agreement is the only one that has so far been announced, and no terms were disclosed.

Cox has about 6 million U.S. subscribers.

The three studios created Epix after CBS Corp's pay-TV network Showtime said last year it wanted to cut fees it was paying the studios to show their movies.

In reaction to Showtime's negotiating stance, Paramount, Lions Gate and MGM opted to create their own network, which allowed them to part ways with Showtime.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Gary Hill)

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